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Police Baton Training

Mr. Mike O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what extra resources this Department will provide to finance the costs of special training needed to make available to all officers the side -handled baton.

Mr. Charles Wardle : It is for chief officers of police to decide how to equip and train their officers. The cost must be met out of normal police funds.

EU Meetings

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the results of the meeting of the interior Ministers of the member states of the European Union treaty in Thessalonika, Greece on 6 and 7 May.

Mr. Charles Wardle : I refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave him on 18 May, Official Report, column 461 .


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Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what agenda has been proposed for the next meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Ministers of the member states of the European Union meeting in accordance with title VI of the European Union treaty on 20 and 21 June in Greece.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The meeting took place on 20 June in Luxembourg. It was the third Justice and Home Affairs Council held under the provisions of the treaty on European Union. The main points dealt with by the Council were as follows :

The Council adopted the resolution on limitations on admission of third- country nationals to the member states for employment. The Council expressed its appreciation for the Commission's communication on immigration and asylum policies and undertook to consider the possibility of including in a forthcoming work programme those aspects of the proposals which fall within title VI of the treaty on European Union.

The Council agreed the selection of consultants to undertake a study of users' requirements for EURODAC, the proposed automated fingerprinting system for asylum applicants.

The Council approved the budget for the European Drugs Unit for 1995. It appointed Mr. Jurgen Storbeck as director of the Europol Drugs Unit and decided to extend the temporary appointment of Mr. Willy Bruggeman, the acting assistant director, for a further six months.

The Council noted progress on the Europol convention, and commissioned further work by officials on the outstanding points. The Council invited officials to continue their work on the customs information system convention with a view to its being concluded as quickly as possible. The Council agreed that the incoming German presidency would inform the European Parliament about the main elements of the draft convention. It also discussed progress on the European information system convention.

The Council heard presentations from the Commission on its overall strategy to combat drugs, and on its proposals on the legal protection of the Community's financial interests. The Council agreed that work on fraud should proceed on the basis of both the joint action proposed by the United Kingdom in March and the Commission's proposals.

The Council considered means of carrying on contracts with certain third countries on title VI matters. Officials were instructed to continue work in this area, with a view to agreement being reached by the end of the German presidency.

The Council agreed that work should proceed on the extension of the Brussels convention to matters of family and succession law. The Council heard a report from the presidency which summarised the current status of work on extradition.

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide a list of the formal meetings at which representatives of the British Government have attended in accordance with article K3 of the European Union treaty since the coming into force of that treaty together with the subject matter under consideration at the meeting and the title of the official representing the British Government.


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Mr. Charles Wardle : I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave him on 16 May, Official Report, columns 339-40.

EU Citizens

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many citizens of the European Union to whom notices that their presence in the United Kingdom was no longer lawful were issued in the past 12 months had already been in employment ;

(2) how many applications were received for residence permits for citizens of the European Union seeking to establish themselves in business in the United Kingdom over the past 12 months.

Mr. Charles Wardle : The information requested is not available.

Immigration

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what action is currently being undertaken as proposed in the Commission's communication on immigration and asylum of February 1994 to approximate the harmonisation admission policies for humanitarian reasons of the European Union member states ;

(2) what action is being taken to harmonise schemes for temporary protection in the European Union member states as proposed in the Commission's communication on immigration and asylum of February 1994.

Mr. Charles Wardle : No specific proposals for harmonisation in these areas have been put forward.

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what actions have been taken under the European Council's 1992 declaration on principles governing the external aspects of migration policy to tackle root causes of various types of migratory movements.

Mr. Charles Wardle : No specific action has been taken, but the declaration has informed subsequent discussions on these issues between the member states.

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications were made over the past 12 months for persons to come to the United Kingdom or continue residence in the United Kingdom as persons of independent means on the basis of capital assets of £200,000 or guaranteed income of £20,000 and a close connection with the United Kingdom.

Mr. Charles Wardle : Information on persons of independent means applying for entry clearance, or admitted to the United Kingdom is not available. The available information relates to such persons with capital assets of not less than £200,000 or income of not less than £20,000 a year and a close connection with the United Kingdom, plus if there were no close connection, capital assets of not less than £500,000 ; 120 such persons were granted an extension of stay, and 140 were granted settlement, in 1993.

Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications were (a) received and (b) refused in the past 12 months for a person to come to the United Kingdom as a business person under the immigration rules.


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Mr. Charles Wardle : The information requested is not available.

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will reconsider his decision to expel Dr. Xu Li-Quin as an illegal immigrant.

Mr. Charles Wardle : Dr. Xu is not and has not been treated as an illegal entrant, nor has he been subject to any procedures to expel him. He had been refused further leave to remain in the United Kingdom, in accordance with the immigration rules, following a decision by the Department of Employment not to extend its approval of his employment. That Department has now reconsidered the case in the light of further information, and as a result Dr. Xu will be granted further leave to remain.

Firearms

Mr. Lord : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy not to raise the level of fees for firearm and shotgun certificates.

Mr. Charles Wardle : No. The fees for the grant and renewal of firearm and shotgun certificates are currently under review.

Blakenhurst Prison

Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide a list of all the subcontractors providing services at or relating to Blakenhurst prison ; and if he will list in each case the services provided, the length of the contract, and the cost of the contract.

Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 30 June 1994] : Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 1 July 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the subcontractors at Blakenhurst ; the services provided, the length of the contract and the cost of the contract.

The subcontractors concerned and the services they provide are as follows :

Mowlem Training : Education

Worcester Royal Infirmary : Hospital

Maintenance

Robert O'Neill : Mechanical Services

Sword Brothers : Electricians

Detail Design Engineering

Marcom Camera Services

CHS Water Treatment

DJS : Painters

Westwoods : Carpenters

Wormold Britannia : Alarm specialists

Baron Pest Control

Elliot Brothers : Lightening Conductors

Huffey Construction

HMP Hewell Grange : Ground maintenance

Although they may not employ subcontractors without our express authority, the value and length of the contracts with subcontractors are matters for United Kingdom Detention Services to determine and to decide whether they should be disclosed.


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Crime Statistics

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will give the number of offences reported in each police force area in England and Wales for each quarter of 1993 and for the first quarter of 1994 for each category of crime ;

(2) if he will give the percentage change in offences reported in each police force area in England and Wales between each quarter of 1993 and the first quarter of 1994 and the corresponding quarter 12 months previously for each category of crime ;

(3) if he will give the number of offences reported in each police force area in England and Wales for (a) home burglary, (b) other burglary, (c) theft of a motor vehicle and (d) theft from a motor vehicle for each quarter of 1993 and for the first quarter of 1994 ; (4) if he will give the percentage change in offences of (a) home burglary, (b) other burglary, (c) theft of a motor vehicle and (d) theft from a motor vehicle between each quarter of 1993 and the first quarter of 1994 and the equivalent quarter 12 months previously.

Mr. Maclean [holding answers 28 June 1994] : The available statistics for 1993 are in the form of notifiable offences recorded by the police. In view of the length of the relevant statistical tables these have been placed in the Library. Information for the first half of 1994 will be published later this year.

Betting and Gaming

Sir Fergus Montgomery : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give consideration to allowing the sale of national lottery tickets in licensed betting offices.

Mr. Brooke : I have been asked to reply.

I have no plans to reconsider the regulations made under section 12 of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 which prohibit the sale of national lottery tickets in licensed betting offices.

DEFENCE

Dreadnought Seamen's Hospital

Mr. Raynsford : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for how long the buildings formerly occupied by the Dreadnought seamen's hospital, adjoining the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, have been vacant and unused.

Mr. Hanley : The site, which has been vacant and unused for eight years, has been leased by the Greenwich hospital trust to the Greenwich health authority, which is responsible for maintaining the buildings in a wind and weatherproof state and for providing site security.

Civil Servants

Mrs. Golding : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many civil servants are employed in his Department.

Mr. Aitken : The total number of civilian personnel employed by my Department on 1 May 1994 was 141,700.


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Test Ranges (Radiation)

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessments have been undertaken by his Department's Defence Radiological Protection Service of the health and environmental aspects of testing conducted at the departmental test ranges at Dundrennan and Eskmeals.

Mr. Aitken : Although no assessment has been carried out this year, we intend to conduct a survey in the autumn.

Drivers and Batmen

Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many posts for serving officers there are where there is an entitlement to the services of (a) a driver and (b) a batman.

Mr. Hanley : Information on entitlements to drivers is only held centrally for two-star officers and above--currently there are 114 such officers in posts which carry an entitlement to a dedicated staff car and driver. Officers below this level may be entitled to such facilities depending on the nature of their duties. The majority of these are commanders of Army formations and units, whose drivers carry out the same duties for them on deployments.

Information on all posts which carry an entitlement to the services traditionally carried out by a batman--usually a steward who can carry out the duties in addition to his or her other tasks--is not held centrally. There are currently 77 posts where the postholder occupies an official service residence and is thereby entitled to this service from the house staff. Other posts will carry a similar entitlement only where the representational and official entertainment obligations warrant it.

Arms Sales

Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what role Richard John Rainey Unwin played in connection with (a) the Jordanian defence packages, (b) the Al Yamamah Saudi arms deal, (c) the Pergau and Malaysian arms deal, (d) the Oman arms deal, (e) the Brunei arms deal and (f) the Indonesian arms deal.

Mr. Aitken : It is not the policy of the Government to comment in detail on defence export matters.

SCOTLAND

Environmentally Sensitive Areas

Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the actual expenditure on the environmentally sensitive area schemes in (a) Whitlaw and Eildon and (b) Stewartry in each financial year since 1989.

Mr. Lang : The information is set out in the table :


          |Whitlaw/ |Stewartry          

          |Eildon                       

          |£        |£                  

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

1989-90   |34,798   |307,461            

1990-91   |45,155   |456,357            

1991-92   |53,785   |480,039            

1992-93   |54,735   |511,826            

1993-94   |50,143   |452,770            

Mr. Lang : As explained in the answer I gave the hon. Member on 23 May, columns 21-22, individual ESAs are not given an allocated budget. Expenditure is contained within the overall ESA scheme provision.

Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the allocated budget for each of the environmentally sensitive area schemes in Scotland for each year since 1989.

Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease

Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what consideration was given to holding fatal accident inquiries following the deaths of three people in Scotland from Creutzfeld-Jakob disease ; and if he will make a statement.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The Crown Office has been able to identify only one case reported by a procurator fiscal in which one of the causes of the death was given as Creutzfeld-Jakob disease. Consideration was given to the possibility of holding a fatal accident inquiry, but Crown counsel concluded that it was not appropriate to hold an inquiry in that case.

Dumbarton Sheriff Court

Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has for the future of Dumbarton sheriff court.

Mr. Lang : A new site at Meadow Park in central Dumbarton has now been identified for the replacement sheriff court house and, subject to a satisfactory survey of the ground and completion of negotiations for its acquisition, detailed planning will start as soon as possible.

Dangerous Plants

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to bring forward measures to restrict the sale from supermarkets, garden centres and other retail outlets of Dieffenbachia picta (Dumb Cane) and other species of that genus, or to make the prominent display of safety warning labels mandatory at sites of sale ; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Hector Monro : The conditions under which potentially hazardous plants are sold by supermarkets and garden centres is a matter currently being considered by the horticultural industry. This is an industry-led initiative and a good example of self-regulation. Final consideration is being given to a voluntary code of practice which will be published later in the summer.

National Monuments

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will designate the Wallace monument in Elderslie as a national monument ; and if he will make a statement ;

(2) if he will publish a table showing all listed buildings in the Paisley, South constituency, their location, their category listing and the reason for their listing.

Sir Hector Monro : The subject of the question relates to matters undertaken by Historic Scotland. I have asked its chief executive, Mr. Graeme Munro, to arrange for a reply to be given.


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Letter from Graeme Munro to Mr. Gordon McMaster, dated 1 July 1994 :

I refer to your written Questions to the Secretary of State, for answer on 24 June, regarding listed buildings in the Paisley South constituency and the Wallace Monument at Elderslie.

Copies of the lists for Paisley Burgh and the remainder of Renfrew District were enclosed with my letter of 19 May 1993 in reply to your previous Question about listed buildings (see Official Report, Vol. 225, col. 215). There have been some additions to and deletions from the statutory lists since that date and I enclose copy extracts to add to the lists you already have. I have also deposited this information in the House of Commons Library.

You have asked that the Wallace monument at Elderslie be designated as a national monument. It is already listed as a building of special architectural or historic interest. Among the set of list descriptions you already have you will find a copy of the list description for the Wallace monument in Elderslie which was listed category B on 10 June 1971. For each of reference, I enclose another copy of the description.

Sheltered Housing

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish a table showing the level of expenditure on sheltered placement schemes for each regional council in Scotland ; what is the per capita expenditure region by region ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart : The planned level of expenditure by each regional authority on sheltered employment in 1994-95 and the per capita amount in each case is shown in the table.


                      |1994-95 Budget |Expenditure                    

Region                |Estimate (£000)|per capita (£)                 

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

Borders               |53             |0.50                           

Central               |354            |1.30                           

Dumfries and Galloway |41             |0.28                           

Fife                  |1,321          |3.76                           

Grampian              |1,536          |2.91                           

Highland              |354            |1.71                           

Lothian               |1,470          |1.95                           

Strathclyde           |2,692          |1.18                           

Tayside               |1,242          |3.14                           

Nature Conservation Orders

Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his answer of 3 February, Official Report, columns 917-18, how many more nature conservation orders he has granted or refused under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in Scotland ; how many are still in force ; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Hector Monro : One further nature conservation order has been made by my right hon. Friend and is still in force, bringing the total in force in Scotland to 12. No requests to make such orders from Scottish Natural Heritage have been refused.

Wildlife and Countryside Act

Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his answer of 8 March, Official Report, column 124, how many further prosecutions have been taken under section 28 or 29 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in Scotland ; and if he will make a statement.


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Sir Hector Monro : As before, the information requested is not separately identifiable in the Scottish Office classification of crimes and offences.

Children's Play Areas

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make available additional funding to district councils in Scotland to be specifically targeted on the installation of safety surfacing in children's play areas ; what studies he has undertaken on the cost benefit of such surfacing ; how much was spent by the Scottish health service in each of the past five years on the treatment of accidents associated with children's play areas ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stewart : My right hon. Friend has no plans to target resources in this way. District councils have complete freedom to determine their own priorities for capital expenditure on their general services programme. They are, therefore, free to invest in the installation of safety surfacing in children's play areas if they so wish. The Scottish Office has not undertaken any studies on the cost benefit of such surfacing and information is not collected separately about the treatment of accidents associated with children's play areas.


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