|Previous Section||Home Page|
Column 491The Provincial Stipendiary Magistrates
The Judges' Council
The Top Salaries Review Body
The Chief Taxing Master
The Chief Chancery Master
The Master of the Court of Protection
The Chief Social Security Commissioner
The Chief Immigration Adjudicator
The General Council of the Bar
The Law Society
Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many copies of his consultation paper "Developments in Judicial Appointments Procedures" were sent to laypersons, as defined in the paper itself.
Mr. John M. Taylor : Approximately 700 copies of the consultation paper have been distributed to organisations and individuals including the National Consumer Council, the National Association of Citizens' Advice Bureaux, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality. Copies were also sent to any who requested them from my Department. It is not possible to determine how many of these are not lawyers.
Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many solicitors have been appointed to the High Court bench since section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 came into force.
Mr. John M. Taylor : Since section 71 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 came into force on 1 January 1991, one solicitor, who was a serving circuit judge, has been appointed to the High Court bench.
Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what responsibilities he has relating to legal training.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The Lord Chancellor's role is governed by the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990. Under that Act, amendments made by authorised bodies to their rules and regulations require the approval of the Lord Chancellor and the four designated judges. The Lord Chancellor is also required to approve applications under section 55 of the 1990 Act-- preparation of probate papers--and, in doing so, must be satisfied about the arrangements for training.
Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to hold elections for any judicial posts.
Mr. John M. Taylor : None. The Government do not believe that election would provide a suitable basis for appointment or be compatible with the principle of judicial independence. The Lord Chancellor's proposals for developments in the judicial appointments system were set out in a recent consultation paper. I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to him on 4 July, Official Report, column 1.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department which organisations, agencies and other bodies relating to his departmental area of responsibility have been privatised since 1990 ; and what plans he has for further privatisation.
Mr. John M. Taylor : None. A number of the functions of the departments, agencies and other bodies for which the Lord Chancellor is responsible are currently under review. Privatisation will be considered as one of a range of possible options. At present, no firm plans have been made concerning any of the functions under review.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the immigration or residency status of Colonel Tony Nyiam and Great Ogboru, formerly of Nigeria ; what requests he received in respect of the extradition of those individuals following the failed military coup in Nigeria in 1990 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : It is not our normal policy to disclose information relating to a person's immigration status, but no extradition requests in respect of these two individuals have been received.
Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give the cost of the May inquiry into the Guildford and Woolwich bombings.
Mr. Maclean : The total reported costs of this inquiry, as at 7 July, is £2,150,000.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will ask the Parole Board to reconsider its position regarding a release date for Ms Humphreys ;
(2) what representation he has received concerning the case of Ms Emma Humphreys who is currently serving a life sentence at Holloway prison ;
(3) what consultations he has had with the Parole Board about its recent refusal to grant Ms Humphreys a date for release or to move her to an open prison.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : It is not the practice of the Secretary of State to consult the independent Parole Board when the board decides not to recommend the release or the transfer to open prison conditions of a prisoner serving the mandatory life sentence for murder. The Secretary of State has not consulted the Parole Board in the case of Ms Humphreys and sees no grounds for asking the Parole Board to reconsider its recent decision in her case. A further Parole Board review of her suitability for release will begin in May 1995. From time to time, the Secretary of State has received representations about the safety of Ms Humphreys's conviction for murder. Those representations have not provided sufficient grounds for him to refer her case to the
Column 493Court of Appeal under section 17 of the Criminal Appeal Act 1968. Representations made by Ms Humphreys concerning her release on life licence were considered by the Parole Board when it last reviewed her case in May 1994.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) in how many towns and cities there are known to be proposals to introduce closed circuit television for crime prevention ; (2) how many city centres now have closed circuit television for crime prevention ; and what is his assessment of its effectiveness.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The most recent information available indicates that across the United Kingdom there are 220 CCTV schemes either in operation or planned. Local assessments show that CCTV systems have been extremely effective in reducing crime and the fear of crime in a number of areas, particularly when they have formed part of a package of crime prevention measures. A current Home Office study of the effectiveness of the Birmingham city centre system is being extended to include schemes in other areas.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to diminish waiting times for asylum seekers.
Mr. Charles Wardle : With the implementation of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993 last July, procedures have been streamlined and decision times reduced for applications received after implementation, which are being given priority. The new procedures and the level of applications are being closely monitored.
Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans he has made for the Vietnamese refugees in response to the Home Office report on refugees and asylum seekers ;
(2) what plans he has made in response to the Home Office report on refugees and asylum seekers.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The report of the first stage of the research into refugee settlement, which is currently being revised, does not contain specific policy recommendations. The report on the second stage, which includes Vietnamese refugees within its scope, is being prepared and has not yet been seen by Ministers. When completed, any findings which might have policy implications will receive careful consideration.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fires in (a) Wales, (b) Scotland, (c) Northern Ireland, (d) England and (e) the United Kingdom as a whole occurred in houses or buildings which did not have smoke detectors in the last year for which figures are available ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The year 1994 is the first year in which the Home Office has collected data on the presence or absence of a smoke alarm in a fire attended by a local authority fire brigade. Before 1994, the Home Office collected only whether or not the fire was discovered by a smoke alarm.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of those convicted of driving without insurance received a fine of £5,000 last year.
Mr. Maclean : The information available to me shows that no fines of £5,000 were imposed during 1992 for driving without insurance. Figures for 1993 are not yet available.
Mr. French : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drivers have been disqualified from driving after having been convicted of driving without insurance in each of the last five years.
Mr. Maclean : The following table gives the available information which relates to the number of convictions for driving without insurance in England and Wales, for which disqualification from driving was imposed. The number of persons involved is likely to be less because some may have been convicted for more than one of these offences.
Disqualifications imposed for the offence of driving without insurance Year |Number --------------------- 1988 |18,045 1989 |18,747 1990 |17,569 1991 |19,531 1992 |20,727
Figures for 1993 are not yet available.
Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) convicted and (b) remand prisoners are currently in custody from Wales (i) by county, (ii) by sex and (iii) in total.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : 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 Lewes to Mr. Allan Rogers, dated 12 July 1994 :
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Questions asking how many (a) convicted and (b) remand prisoners are currently in custody from Wales (i) by county, (ii) by sex and (iii) in total. The available provisional information is for 31 May 1994 and is given in the attached table. It relates to the population in Prison Service establishments in England and Wales who were recorded centrally as being first committed to custody by a Welsh court. Those persons for whom no court first committing was recorded accounted for five per cent. of the total population in custody, excluding those held in police cells and non-criminal prisoners.
Population in Prison Service establishments in England and Wales on 31 May 1994 committed by courts in Wales<1> County of Welsh Numbers held in a court first Prison Service committing establishment in England and Wales |Remand |Sentenced ---------------------------------------------- Males Clwyd |77 |228 Dyfed |70 |108 Gwent |87 |255 Gwynedd |41 |134 Mid Glamorgan |110 |630 South Glamorgan |87 |220 West Glamorgan |64 |147 Powys |93 |242 |--- |--- Total |629 |1,964 Females Clwyd |- |8 Dyfed |5 |4 Gwent |3 |4 Gwynedd |1 |4 Mid Glamorgan |3 |17 South Glamorgan |1 |10 West Glamorgan |4 |6 Powys |1 |10 |-- |-- Total |18 |63 <1>Provisional figures.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he has received (a) in favour of and (b) against retaining the rank of chief superintendent within the police force ; if he will make it his policy to retain the rank of chief superintendent ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Charles Wardle : The Government's decision to abolish the rank of chief superintendent and reallocate the range of current responsibilities of that rank within a restructured single superintendent rank is opposed by the superintendents' associations. Her Majesty's chief inspector of constabulary supports the reform of the superintending rank, and the Association of Chief Police Officers favours the retention of the rank of chief inspector rather than that of chief superintendent.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which organisations, agencies and other bodies relating to his departmental area of responsibility have been privatised since 1990 ; and what plans he has for further privatisation.
Mr. Howard : DTELS--formerly the Directorate of
Telecommunications--was sold to National Telecommunications Ltd. on 1 March 1994. Epsom, Kempton Park and Sandown Park racecourses were sold by the Horserace Betting Levy Board on 29 April 1994 to Racecourse Holdings Trust. There are no firm plans for further privatisations.
Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provision he plans for the accommodation of young offenders in Wales following the decision to send offenders aged 12 years and over to secure units and to cease to send boys aged 15 and 16 years to prison ; if he will make it his policy that such offenders will not be sent outside Wales ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean [holding answer 11 July 1994] : Five new secure training centres are to be established for the purpose
Column 496of detaining those 12 to 14-year-old juveniles who may be sentenced to serve the new secure training order. The centres will hold offenders sentenced by the courts in England and Wales, but on present plans, none will be located in Wales.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales has already announced a grant amounting to £5.1 million to meet the capital cost of a new local authority secure unit at Neath in west Glamorgan. In due course, it is intended that the unit should accommodate inter alios most 15 and 16- year-old juveniles residing in Wales who may in future be remanded to local authority accommodation with a security requirement instead of to a Prison Service establishment, as well as those whose detention is ordered under section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 and who it is decided should be held in child care establishments.
Mr. Mike O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what additional resources the Government intend to make available to the police service to enable adequate training to be given to all police staff as a result of the enactments of the Police and Magistrates' Courts Bill and the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill.
Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 11 July 1994] : It is for individual chief officers to arrange, out of normal police funds, for the training of their officers, having regard to any relevant changes in legislation. Any requirements for centrally produced training material will be considered within the Police Training Council.
Mr. Mike O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the amounts spent by the police on training in all areas in each of the last five years at 1990 constant prices.
Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 11 July 1994] : I regret that this information is not available.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 28 June, Official Report, column 492, what has been (a) the total number of newly built council homes and (b) that number as a percentage of the stock, in each council area for the period since 1 April 1979.
Sir George Young : A table has been deposited in the Library showing the cumulative total of housebuilding completions for each local authority in England as reported by them for the period between 1 April 1979 and 31 March 1994. The table also shows this housebuilding as a percentage of the local authority dwelling stock reported as at 1 April 1993, and as estimated for 1 April 1979. Housing associations are now the main providers of new social housing.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much has been spent by the Local Government Commission to date on opinion polling ; and what assessment he has made of the usefulness of such polling.
Mr. Curry : The cost of opinion polling carried out for the Local Government Commission during the course of its reviews is a matter for the commission itself, within its overall budget. It is also for the commission itself to determine the value of those public opinion surveys.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much the Local Government Commission has spent on direct communication with the public where it invites replies via freepost.
Mr. Curry : This is a matter for the Local Government Commission.
Mr. Robert Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what formula the Local Government Commission uses to assess the intangible costs and benefits of local government reconstruction in North Yorkshire.
Mr. Baldry : Section 3 of the revised policy guidance which my Department issued to the Local Government Commission in November 1993 gives advice on the treatment of intangible costs and benefits. How the commission incorporates this advice into its recommendations on particular review areas is a matter for it.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many hours per week Sir John Banham devotes to the Local Government Commission.
Mr. Curry : The time commitment of the chairman varies from month to month, according to the demands of the review timetable. He works on average two days a week.
Mr. Duncan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make it his policy prior to the issue of any variation order to authorisation AI 2813 of 17 November 1993 made under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and issued for the burning of Cemfuel that he will engage in consultations with the cement company.
Mr. Atkins : I am advised by Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution that the authorisation AI 2813 relates to the burning of Cemfuel at Castle Cement's Ribblesdale works. The HMIP is in consultation with the company over a variation to this authorisation. No variation has yet been issued.
Mr. Duncan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment in what circumstances an existing authorisation for the burning of Cemfuel might be subject to a variation order from Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution such that the burning of the fuel would again be put on a trial basis.
Mr. Atkins : An existing authorisation for the burning of Cemfuel might be subject to a variation order from Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution to put the burning onto a trial basis if, in the light of up-to- date experience, the conditions attached to the authorisation were seen not to provide sufficient information to monitor the environmental effects of the burning.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the outcome of the second session of the intergovernmental committee of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity held in Nairobi in June.
Mr. Atkins : The second meeting of the intergovernmental committee of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity took place in Nairobi from 20 June to 1 July 1994. Progress was made to prepare for the first meeting of the conference of the parties to be held in Nassau, the Bahamas from 28 November to 9 December 1994. The meeting reached consensus on important administrative and procedural issues for the conference of the parties, including most of the rules of procedure, a set of administrative financial rules and criteria for an open competition between organisations to host the permanent secretariat. Preliminary discussions took place on other substantive issues that the conference of the parties will consider, including the financial mechanism, biosafety, a clearing house mechanism and the scientific and technical subsidiary body.
Mr. Morley : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the proportionate contribution of each category of waste arising to the total waste generated in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Atkins : The table shows the best available estimates of waste arisings, by sector. Most of the estimates are very approximate, and relate to the period around 1990. It is not possible to update them on an annual basis.
Estimated total annual waste arisings by sector United Kingdom Sector |Annual arisings |Date of Estimate|Status<1> |Source |Percentage of |(million tonnes) |total arisings -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Agriculture |<2>80 |1991 |NC |MAFF |21 Mining and quarrying colliery and slate |51 |1990 |NC |DOE |13 china clay |27 |1990 |NC |DOE |7 quarrying<3> |30 |1989/90 |NC |QI<4> |8 Sewage sludge<5> |35 |1992 |PC |MAFF/WSA<6> |9 Dredged spoils<7> |29 |1992 |PC |MAFF |7 Household<8> |20 |- |C |DOE |5 Commercial<9> |15 |- |C |DOE |4 Demolition and construction<10> |32 |190 |C |DOE |8 Industrial blast furnace and steel slag |6 |1990 |C |DOE |2 power station ash |13 |1990 |C |DOE |3 other<11> |50 |- |C |DOE |13 Total |388 <1>NC=Not classed as a controlled waste under the terms of the Environmental Protection Act (Controlled Waste Regulations) 1992; PC=sewage sludge is classed as a controlled waste as defined in the Environmental Protection Act (Controlled Waste Regulations) 1992 except when disposed of on agricultural land or within the curtilage of sewage works at which it arises; dredged spoils are classed as a controlled waste when licensed for disposal under the Food and Environmental Protection Act. See Schedule 6 of the Collection and Disposal of Waste Regulation, 1988. C=controlled wastes under the terms of the Environmental Protection Act (Controlled Waste Regulations) 1992. <2>Refers to wastes from housed livestock only. Wet weight. <3>Excludes wastes from opencast coal mining. Includes wastes from primary aggregate extraction comprising the overburden and any contaminating materials found in the quarry, most of which is used as infill when the quarry is abandoned. Waste arisings are estimated at 10 per cent. of annual aggregate production. <4>Quarries inspectorate. <5>Wet weight arisings, estimated on the basis of 4 per cent. solid content on average. <6>Water Services Association. <7>The data are for all United Kingdom waters, ie, external and internal waters. <8>Estimated maximum value of 20 million tonnes which includes up to 5 million tonnes from civic Amenity Sites. <9>Rounded to nearest 5 million tonnes, of which approximately 5 million tonnes is wastes normally collected from retail shops and small commercial premises by Local Authorities. <10>Refers only to hard materials from construction sites, eg, brick and concrete and road planings. <11>Rounded to nearest 10 million tonnes.
Mr. Benton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment under what circumstances it is possible for a person to be an employee of a local authority to which he is, or may consider becoming, an elected member.
Mr. Baldry : Under the provisions of section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972 a person who is employed by a local authority is disqualified from being elected to, or being a member of, that local authority. Under section 116, a person cannot be employed by an authority for 12 months after he or she ceases to be a member.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the degree of influence which the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development has on (a) the World bank and (b) The International Monetary Fund.
Mr. Atkins : At its meeting in May, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development agreed to aim at a more fruitful co-operation with the Bretton Woods institutions to promote sustainable development through sound macro-economic policies and a favourable international economic environment.
Mr. Dafis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will urge the World Trade Organisation to allow the United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development to be represented at meetings of its committee on trade and the environment.
Mr. Atkins : The United Kingdom fully supports the case for admitting the United Nations Commission on
Column 500Sustainable Development as an observer to the committee on trade and environment, to be established in the World Trade Organisation.
Mr. Tyler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to amplify his advice to local planning authorities on sustainable development contained in PPG13 ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry : My right hon. Friend proposes to publish a good practice guide to PPG13 later this year. Together with the Department of Transport, my Department will also commission and publish research designed to improve our understanding of the relationship between transport and land use and will monitor the implementation of the policies contained in PPG13 through development plans, local transport policies and individual decisions.
Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what steps his Department will take to mitigate the effect on tenants on low incomes of changes in housing association grant rates for 1995-96 ;
(2) if he will make a statement regarding the changes in housing association grant rates for 1995-96.
Sir George Young : Decisions on the housing association grant rates that will apply in 1995-96 have not yet been taken. Before reaching a decision, I shall carefully consider the implications of lower grant rates on a range of issues, including the likely impact on the rents that tenants have to pay.
Mr. Mills : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many complaints he has received about the operation of the Mobile Homes Act 1983 through harassment by landlords.
Sir George Young : From time to time, this Department receives letters from mobile home residents alleging harassment by site owners. Although we do not keep a numerical record of such complaints, they do not form a significant proportion of the correspondence we receive on mobile home issues. Harassment of an occupier of a mobile home can constitute a criminal offence under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he published his Department's most recent environmental protection group research newsletter ; how many copies were printed ; at what cost ; and to whom it has been distributed or made available.
Mr. Atkins : The 1994-95 environmental protection group research newsletter was first published in April 1994. To date, 800 copies have been printed, at a cost of £578.13. The newsletter is available on request and has been sent to organisations within both the public and private sector as well as to individual members of the public.