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Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 8 July 1994] : The Department has a wide range of initiatives and services which help enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities, including those with muscular dystrophy. To improve the situation further, the Government announced on 6 May that they will be consulting on proposals to prevent unjustifiable discrimination against disabled people in employment, within the next six months.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what approaches have been made to him from Europe in relation to the affairs of the Swiss company Sasea and related companies ; and if he will make a statement.
I understand that two Sasea companies are subject to insolvency proceedings in this country. These are Sasea Finance Ltd., which went into voluntary liquidation on 18 November 1992, and Sasea Intertrade Company Ltd., which went into voluntary liquidation on 16 June 1994. I am not aware that any approaches have been made to Her Majesty's Government regarding the affairs of these or any other Sasea group companies.
Mr. Charles Wardle : A reliable diagnostic sex text that examines a segment of chromosomal DNA has been developed by the forensic science service, an agency of the Home Office. This should be available for use in forensic science casework in due course.
Mr. Burden : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provisions he has made within his Department to ensure that persons suffering from gender identity disorder are described in this way.
Mr. Alan Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to publish a response to the proposals put forward by his departmental working parties on electoral law and processes affecting disabled people.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he has given to treating the application of a foreign national in a same-sex relationship with a person settled in the United Kingdom or a United Kingdom citizen on an equal basis with that of a foreign national in a common law heterosexual relationship with a person settled in the United Kingdom with no intent to marry or to have children ; and if he will make a statement.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what external legal advice he has sought on the conformity of all immigration rules, guidelines and concessions with English law ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people from Sri Lanka have applied for asylum in each of the past five years ; and how their applications have been dealt with.
Decisions<1> and applications received for asylum in the United Kingdom from Sri Lankan nationals, excluding dependants, by type, 1989 to 1993 Number of principal applicants Decisions<2> Refusals Year |Total |Total |Recognised |Not |Total |Refused |Refused on |Refused under |applications |decisions |as refugee |recognised as |refused |asylum and |safe third |para. 180F of |received |and granted |refugee but |exceptional |country |Immigration |asylum |granted |leave after full|grounds<4> |Rules<5> |exceptional |consideration |leave<3> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1989<6> |1,790 |880 |10 |840 |30 |30 |- |- 1990<6> |3,330 |475 |15 |455 |5 |5 |- |- 1991<6> |3,765 |765 |20 |730 |20 |15 |5 |- 1992<6><7> |2,085 |4,520 |40 |4,265 |215 |10 |50 |150 1993<6><7> |1,965 |2,690 |10 |2,420 |260 |95 |120 |45 <1> Decisions do not necessarily relate to applications made in the same period. <2> Information is of initial determination decisions, excluding the outcome of appeals or other subsequent decisions. <3> Where it would have been unreasonable or impracticable to seek to enforce return to country of origin. Usually granted for a year in the first instance, subject then to further review. <4> Figures from 1 January 1991 only. Prior to this, these refusals are included in the column "Refused asylum and exceptional leave after full consideration". <5> Paragraph 101 prior to 26 July 1993. For failure to provide evidence to support the asylum claim within a reasonable period, including failure to respond to invitation to interview to establish identity. Figures from 1 December 1991 only. Prior to this, these refusals are included in the column "Refused asylum and exceptional leave after full consideration". <6> Figures rounded to the nearest five. <7> Provisonal figures.
Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the average length of time has been between the refusal of an application for asylum on the basis that there is a safe third country to which the applicant may be sent and the removal of the applicant from the United Kingdom ;
(2) what has been the average length of time for the consideration of an asylum application which has been refused on the basis that the applicant travelled through a safe third country where the application could have been made since the coming into force of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993 ;
(3) what have been the average lengths of time for a substantive consideration of an asylum application in respect of all decisions reached after the coming into force of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The estimated average length of time between the receipt of an asylum application and the decision, for cases decided on applications for asylum received since the introduction of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993--26 July 1993 to 30 June 1994--was 3.6 months. Of this, the estimated average length of time for refusals on safe third country grounds was nearly half a month. The figure of 3.6 months reflects the priority that has been given to cases received after the implementation of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993 on 26 July 1993, with the aim of resolving the majority of cases within three months.
Information on the average length of time between the refusal of an application on safe third country grounds and the applicants' subsequent removal would be available only at disproportionate costs.
Mr. Keith Hill : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 28 June, Official Report, column 455, how long on average it takes to process applications for naturalisation in cases where the
Column 410applicant has not been free of immigration conditions for 12 months and there are compelling reasons of a business or compassionate nature.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library a copy of the newsletter published in April 1993 which gave an outline of the refugee study being undertaken by the Home Office research unit in collaboration with Salford university.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the outcome of his inquiries, in relation to the methodology of the Home Office research unit's refugee study, undertaken in collaboration with Salford university, as to how the interpreters were selected ; what training they received ; and what were their qualifications for the job.
Mr. Howard : Concerns about the methodology of this study, including the selection, training and qualifications of interpreters, are currently being reviewed with the authors. No conclusions have yet been reached.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Coroners are independent judicial officers who carry out their duties in accordance with statutory rules and procedures. The principal relevant legislation is the Coroners Act 1988 and the Coroners Rules 1984. Coroners' decisions are subject to judicial review. Additionally, under section 3(4) of the 1988 Act, the Lord Chancellor may, if he thinks fit, remove any coroner from office for inability or misbehaviour in the discharge of his duty.
(2) what plans he has for fire brigades' statutory powers for inspection of hotels and business premises ; and if fire brigades will continue to impose safety measures.
Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) whole-time firefighters, (b) retained firefighters, (c) fire stations and (d) fire engines were available in each English fire authority area in each year since 1979.
Mr. Charles Wardle : Information on number of firefighters in each fire authority is published annually in the reports of Her Majesty's chief inspector of fire services for England and Wales--the latest report, for 1992, Cm 2275, contains on page 14 a table giving establishments
Column 412and strengths as at 1.1.1993. The Home Department has not collated figures for fire stations or fire appliances, but information has been published annually on these on a fiscal year basis by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. The figures for 1979-80 to 1989-90 are published in the annual series "Fire Service Statistics, Actuals" and the figures for 1990-91 to 1993-94 are published in "Fire Service Statistics, 1992" and "Fire Service Statistics, 1993".
Mr. Howard : Information by region is not available. Details of running costs for each year from 1987-88 to 1993-94 are published in Home Office annual reports. Annex E of the report for 1994, Cm 2508, gives information for 1988-89 onwards. The figures for 1987-88 are to be found in table 2.iii of the report for 1993, Cm 2208.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many locks and keys had to be replaced at Blakenhurst prison following the publication of a photograph of a bunch of prison keys in The Birmingham Post ;
(2) what was the cost of replacing the locks and keys at Blakenhurst prison following the publication of a photograph of a bunch of prison keys in The Birmingham Post .
Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 11 July 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Questions about replacing the keys and locks at Blakenhurst prison. 84 Class 1 locks were replaced together with keys and nib nuts as a result of the photograph in The Birmingham Post. 570 Class 3 A levers were relevered across the prison requiring 500 new keys. There was no cost to the Prison Service as the total cost of this replacement was met by United Kingdom Detention Services Limited.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions United Kingdom Detention Services Ltd. has notified his Department of behaviour by a member of staff at Blakenhurst prison which casts doubt on their fitness to perform the functions of a prison custody officer ; what were the circumstances ; and what action was taken in each case.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 4 July 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 11 July 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about how many occasions United Kingdom Detention Services Limited has notified his Department of behaviour by a member of staff at Blakenhurst prison which casts doubt on their fitness to perform the functions of a Prisoner Custody Officer (PCO) ; what were the circumstances ; and what action was taken in each case.
There have been six occasions where the behaviour of members of UKDS staff has led to their fitness as Prisoner Custody Officers being considered.
The circumstances and action taken in each case is set out below : (
(1) Assault against a prisoner. The officer was dismissed and the PCO certificate revoked.
(2) Criminal conviction for theft. The officer was dismissed and the PCO certificate revoked.
(3) Collusion with prisoners to allow an assault on another prisoner. The officer was dismissed and the PCO certificate suspended. The Prison Service is considering representations from the officer.
(4) Police investigation into criminal offence against prisoners. The officer has been suspended. The PCO certificate has also been suspended, the decision concerning revocation will not be taken until the outcome of the court action is known.
(5) Insubordination to a senior officer. The officer was dismissed. The status of the PCO certificate is under consideration. (
(6) Resigned and the status of the PCO certificate is under consideration.
Sir Roger Moate : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions in the last 30 years (a) the United States Government have applied for the extradition of individuals from the United Kingdom and (b) the United Kingdom has applied to the United States for the extradition of individuals to face charges in the United Kingdom ; and how many of these were refused in each case.
Mr. Maclean : In the last 30 years the United States Government have made 301 such requests to the United Kingdom, of which 37 have been refused. Over the same period, the United Kingdom has made 108 requests to the United States, of which four have been refused.
Column 414press releases and written answers are printed on environmentally friendly paper from managed forests and bleached using a chlorine-free process. Where possible, press releases are sent electronically.
Ms Ruddock : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people whose certification as prison custody officer has been suspended or revoked (a) applied to work at and (b) have been employed at (i) Blakenhurst, (ii) the Wolds and (iii) Doncaster prison.
Mr. Peter Lloyd [holding answer 4 July 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 11 July 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about how many people whose certification as Prisoner Custody Officer (PCO) has been suspended or revoked (a) applied to work and (b) have been employed at (i) Blakenhurst, (ii) The Wolds and (iii) Doncaster Prison.
Prisoner Custody Officer certificates are only issued after a person has successfully completed the required training and obtained security clearance. There are therefore no known instances of people having had their certification suspended or revoked applying for employment. It would not be possible for the Prison Service to know if a person had applied and not been offered employment by one company, having previously had their certification suspended or revoked in relation to employment by another company.
There have been no revocations at Wolds or Doncaster. At Blakenhurst there have been four suspensions : two of these resulted in revocations and two are currently under consideration.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will undertake a review of the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1960 to introduce a proper regulatory system within the physiotherapy profession.
Mr. Bowis : The survey has been repeated for 1994, drawing together information on the hospitals as at 31 March. A decision has not yet been taken about whether the survey will be repeated in future years.
Dr. Mawhinney : The private work of national health service doctors and consultants is a matter for the individuals concerned. Consultants contracted to the NHS are required to devote substantially the whole of their professional time to NHS duties so that NHS patients are not adversely affected by private work.
maximum £99,770 (April 1994)
NHS consultants may have their pay negotiated locally if they work for a NHS trust. Information on the level of remuneration for private practice work is not available. Whole-time consultants may not earn more than 10 per cent. of their gross NHS earnings from private work.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what is the average percentage and time allocated to (a) NHS responsibilties and (b) private patients by those NHS consultants who do private work ; and what percentage of their remuneration is derived from these respective sources.
Dr. Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what advice she gives to employers about arrangements for encouraging mothers to continue breastfeeding on their return to work after maternity leave.
Mr. McCartney : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements are made for patients in district general hospitals to have their privacy and dignity protected while sharing a room or bay with members of the opposite sex.
25 parliamentary questions from hon. Members ;
15 letters from hon. Members and Peers ; and
44 letters from members of the public