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Mr. Graham Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Office, how many reports have been made by marriage registrars, and from which registration areas, to the Registrar General, that marriages are suspected to be solely for immigration purposes, in each year since 1992, to the latest convenient date ; and in how many of these instances information has been passed on to his Department.
The information will be placed in the Library. During 1993 superintendent registrars reported 361 cases to the Registrar General where they suspected that a proposed marriage had been arranged for the sole purpose of evading statutory immigration controls. Of this number, information in respect of 304 was passed to the Home Office. So far this year (to 14 July 1994) 270 reports have been received from superintent registrars, of which 194 have been referred to the Home Office.
Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he will take to ensure that environmental planning decisions are taken in full appreciation of their impact on human health and that adequate public health advice is provided by the NHS to joint regional offices of the departments of Health, Employment, Transport and Trade and Industry.
My Department does not have joint regional offices with other Departments. It is a responsibility of regional and district directors of public health to have regard to and, when appropriate, provide advice upon all factors which may have significant impact upon the public health in their area-- including those which may be associated with the consequences of planning decisions. Advice may also be obtained from the National Health Service Executive. Responsibility for planning matters rests with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment. We understand that guidance to planning authorities, and to applicants for consent to major projects, requires that impact upon human beings should be taken into account in assessing the environmental impact of development plans and projects.
Mr. Clifford Forsythe : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will publish the consultation paper on the future of water regulations controlling the installation of plumbing systems on buildings.
Column 114various parts of Bosnia, mostly at a relatively low level. The situation in Sarajevo is generally calm but heavier fighting continues in parts of central Bosnia and in the Bihac area of western Bosnia.
Mr. Aitken : The options for either refurbishing or replacing the first half of the Hercules fleet are still under consideration. I hope to be in a position to make an announcement on the way forward by the end of the year.
Mr. Hanley : My right hon. and learned Friend paid a very successful visit to Belize between 27 and 28 May, in the course of which he held useful discussions with the Government of Belize covering regional and bilateral issues and visited the Belize defence force and British Forces. This was the first visit by a Secretary of State for Defence and demonstrates the United Kingdom's continued strong links with Belize, since she became independent in 1981.
19. Mr. Connarty : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is current policy on the production or use by the United Kingdom forces or by other nations with which the United Kingdom carry out joint operations of anti-personnel mines.
Mr. Aitken : The United Kingdom does not currently produce anti- personnel mines. The production and use of such mines by other nations is a matter for individual Governments, but these mines are legitimate defensive military weapons provided that they are used against military targets and in accordance with the laws of war.
Mr. Hanley : My Department continues to receive information relating to the investigations into an alleged Gulf war syndrome being undertaken by the United States Department of Defence and the Department of Veteran's Affairs.
Mr. Bates : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to be able to announce the successful bid for work on the Sir Bedivere, and what criteria have been set for awarding the contract.
Mr. Aitken : I can today announce the results of the three competitions including that for work on the RFA Sir Bedivere. Contracts are awarded on the basis of best value for money. We are placing a contract with Babcock Rosyth Defence Ltd., which was the clear winner of the Sir Bedivere competition.
Separately, Swan Hunter has emerged as the lowest bidder for the refit of RFA Olwen. Contract award must, however, depend on Swan Hunter meeting my Department's usual financial and other requirements, in default of which this work will be placed with the next lowest bidder.
Finally, we are placing a contract with Devonport Management Ltd., which submitted the lowest bid for the refit of HMS Birmingham.
22. Mr. William O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is his assessment of the number of service personnel who were involved in the Christmas Island nuclear tests and are still living ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : Although information is not held in the form requested, studies by the National Radiological Protection Board have shown that of over 20,000 former participants in the atmospheric nuclear test programme which took place during the 1950s and early 1960s, some 2,800 had died by the end of 1990. This death rate is lower
Column 116than among the general population in the same age group, and no higher than for the matched control group in the NRPB study. Copies of the NRPB reports are in the Library of the House.
Mr. Hanley : My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Defence next plans to meet his NATO counterparts at an informal meeting of Defence Ministers in Seville in September. The agenda for that meeting has not yet been decided.
Mr. Hanley : The implementation of partnership for peace is going very well. To date, 21 states, including the Russian Federation, have signed ; the partnership co-ordination cell has been established ; the first individual partnership programme, with Poland, has been agreed, and others are under negotiation ; and the first land and maritime exercises under the partnership are planned to take place this autumn.
25. Mr. Bill Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received about the new command structure in the Royal Air Force which followed the "Options for Change" reductions.
Mr. Meacher : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when Stefan Adolph Kock acquired British nationality ; and who from the Ministry of Defence or other Government Department intervened with the police in Oban in Argyll regarding the prosecution of Stefan Adolph Kock after he had fired an automatic pistol at two motorists on 15 January 1990.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I have been asked to reply. My right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Advocate is responsible for prosecutions in Scotland. The information requested however cannot be compiled in the time before the House rises for summer recess. I shall therefore arrange from my right hon. and learned Friend to write to the hon. Member as soon as this information is available and and arrange for a copy of the letter to be place in the Library of the House for the benefit of other hon. Members.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what regulations or laws govern the ability or duty of the proposed new councils to give personal details of council tax payers to (a) the proposed new water boards and (b) other outside bodies.
Mr. Stewart : The Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill provides that it will be the duty of local authorities to supply information held on the setting, levying or collection of council tax to the new water and sewerage authorities if required to do so by my right hon. Friend and if he considers this will assist the latter either in making a charges scheme or collecting water and sewerage charges made under such a scheme. The Bill provides for such requirements to be imposed by regulations subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
As regards other outside bodies, the principal statutory provisions concerning the release of information about council tax payers are contained in the Local Government Finance Act 1992. The provisions of the Act will apply to the proposed new councils. Paragraph 17 of schedule 2 to the Act provides that regulations may be made for the supply of relevant information to any person who requests it for a purpose not relating to part I or II of the Act. However, personal information is specifically excluded from the definition of relevant information.
Mrs. Fyfe : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the total public expenditure on child care services for pre-school children under the age of five years, by sector, including all local authority provision and grants for the voluntary sector, for each year from 1989-90 to 1993-94 ; and what was the total public expenditure on these services as a percentage of the gross domestic product for Scotland, in each of these years.
Mr. Stewart : Services for children under five are provided from public expenditure by local authorities and from grants from the Scottish Office under the urban programme and under sections 9 and 10 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968.
£000 |Local |Expenditure |Scottish Office |Authority |Voluntary |Expenditure |LA Facilities |Facilities -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1989-90 |11,604 |1,859 |2,163 1990-91 |13,696 |1,917 |2,766 1991-92 |14,537 |2,285 |4,190 1992-93 |<1>16,030 |<1>1,441 |4,647 1993-94 |n/a |n/a |4,657 <1> Provisional.
The percentage that this expenditure represents of the Scottish gross domestic product for each of the years for which full information is available lies between 0.04 per cent. and 0.05 per cent.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what consideration he is giving to the long-term problems of shortage of space in existing cemeteries and the desirability or otherwise of creating new cemeteries ; and what is Her Majesty's Government's policy on the use of re -usable graves.
Mr. Stewart : The provision of cemeteries is a matter for local authorities, whose statutory powers for this purpose include a right to purchase land compulsorily for new cemeteries or the extension of existing cemeteries. The re-use of graves would involve the disturbance of remains, which would be unacceptable to many people ; and the implications would need careful and sensitive consideration. I understand that the Institute of Burial and Cremation Administration in Scotland is considering the scope for optimising the use of cemeteries in ways which would not involve disinterment.
Mr. Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) children and (b) adults have been (i) killed, (ii) seriously or (iii) slightly injured on or near pedestrian crossings in Scotland in 1991, 1992 and 1993.
Child and adult pedestrian casualties on or near pedestrian crossings in Scotland, years 1991 to 1993<1> Severity/Year |On pedestrian |Within zig zag of|Within 50 metres |Total |crossing |crossing |of crossing -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Child pedestrian<2> Fatal 1991 |- |- |2 |2 1992 |- |1 |- |1 1993 |1 |- |- |1 Serious 1991 |31 |2 |46 |79 1992 |20 |6 |40 |66 1993 |18 |3 |29 |50 Slight 1991 |117 |11 |108 |236 1992 |91 |12 |113 |216 1993 |103 |13 |77 |193 Total 1991 |148 |13 |156 |317 1992 |111 |19 |153 |283 1993 |122 |16 |106 |244 Adult pedestrian Fatal 1991 |5 |3 |14 |22 1992 |12 |2 |7 |21 1993 |4 |- |11 |15 Serious 1991 |117 |19 |149 |285 1992 |89 |18 |120 |227 1993 |53 |22 |77 |152 Slight 1991 |234 |24 |268 |526 1992 |203 |18 |269 |490 1993 |152 |34 |198 |384 Total 1991 |356 |46 |431 |833 1992 |304 |38 |396 |738 1993 |209 |56 |286 |551 <1>These figures relate to pedestrian casualties on or near pedestrian crossings involving any number of vehicles. Road Accidents Scotland' table 34 provides figures for pedestrian casualties on or near pedestrian crossings involving single vehicles. In 1992 there were 997 such pedestrian casualties compared with 1,021 (283+738) provided above. <2>Child 0-15 years.
Mr. Foulkes : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what meetings have taken place of the staff advisory committee on local government in Scotland ; on what dates ; what was the outcome ; what instructions he has given to the committee ; what advice he has received from it ; and when he expects to promulgate such advice to individual local authorities.
Mr. Stewart : The staff advisory committee held its first meeting on 18 May. I understand that it has held regular meetings since then and has undertaken a number of visits to local authorities. My right hon. Friend has invited the committee as a first task to prepare advice on the nature of any redundancy compensation scheme which should apply in Scotland during the period of reorganisation. The Committee's advice on this issue is expected quite shortly.
Column 120Restructuring of the industry is a major undertaking and it is essential that the chief executives of the new authorities should be in post at the earliest possible date following Royal Assent. Any delay is likely to incur inefficiencies and costs in implementing the restructuring. Selection of candidates will need to be thorough. It will also be time consuming. I therefore intend now to invite tenders for the appointment of executive search consultants to help identify candidates for chief executive posts.
Substantial assets will need to be transferred from the existing local authorities to the new bodies. The asset transfer arrangements will be complex. A priority task will be to issue guidance to assist the regional and islands councils and the Central Scottish Water Development Board in their preparation of asset transfer schemes. To expedite this I also intend to invite tenders for the appointment of technical consultants to advise on the preparation of guidance on asset transfer schemes.
Expenditure on these consultancies is a new service for which parliamentary approval will be sought in a winter supplementary estimate for the housing and environmental services, Scotland vote, class XIV, vote 7. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £200,000 will be met by a repayable advance from the Contingencies Fund.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The new Prisons and Young Offenders Institutions (Scotland) Rules 1994, which were the subject of wide-ranging public consultation late last year, have been laid before this House today. They will come into force on 1 November. The revised rules not only pull together and update the Prison (Scotland) Rules 1952 and the Young Offenders (Scotland) Rules 1965, but also lift out of the old Prisons (Scotland) Standing Orders
Column 121a number of matters which, because they concern prisoners' rights, more appropriately appear on the face of the rules so that they are subject to parliamentary and public scrutiny. They take account of the relevant European guidance, the European convention on human rights and the European prison rules. They represent a fundamental and wide-ranging overhaul of the rules governing the management of Scottish penal establishments, and are designed not merely to codify existing practice, but to introduce change.
The rules provide inter alia for the making of directions. While the latter have legislative force, they do not require to be formally laid before Parliament. Nevertheless, so that hon. Members may see the detail of what is proposed, copies of the draft directions have been placed in the Library. In due course, the directions, like the rules, will be published.
Mr. Stewart : Details of this work, which was carried out on behalf of the Committee on the Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment, were published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Public Health on 16 June 1994. I will arrange for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.
The study found that in the period 1985-91, four cases of leukaemia and non -Hodgkin's lymphoma were observed in the one to 24 age group resident within 25 km of Dounreay, compared to 1.4 expected cases. The results have been examined by COMARE, which concluded that the results reinforced the previous findings that the raised incidence of childhood and young adult leukaemia in the area is a real phenomenon and is less likely to have arisen by chance. The committee concluded that further epidemiological research in the Dounreay area to try to determine causal mechanisms was not a practicable way forward at present. The Government accept this advice. Further studies are, however, under way on a national basis--one on the incidence of childhood cancer in the vicinity of all nuclear sites in Scotland, the other a case control study of childhood cancer in Scotland, linked with a parallel study in England and Wales.
The full test of the Committee's advice is as follows :
Incidence of Leukaemia and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in Children and Young Adults Resident in the Dounreay Area of Caithness, Scotland, in 1968-1991. Black R. J., Sharp L., Harkness E. F., McKinney P. A. Background
The second report of the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE), entitled Investigation of the possible increased incidence of leukaemia in young people near the Dounreay Nuclear Establishment, Caithness, Scotland', which was published in 1988, concluded that for the period 1968-1984 : "There is evidence of a raised incidence of leukaemia in young people living in the vicinity of Dounreay.".
Further case-control and cohort epidemiological investigations were recommended and undertaken in subsequent years [Case-control study of leukaemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in children in Caithness near Dounreay nuclear installation. Uruquhart et al, BMJ 1991 ; 302, 687-692. Incidence of leukaemia and other cancers in birth and school cohorts in the Dounreay area. Black et al, BMJ 1992 ; 304, 1401-1405]. In the
Column 122light of this work and other considerations, COMARE requested that the epidemiological data for childhood leukaemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the vicinity of Dounreay should be analysed to include the period 1984-1991.
This work was undertaken by the Information and Statistics Division of the Scottish Office Home and Health Department and was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Public Health on 16 June 1994. The Study
The objective of this report was to review the geographical incidence of leukaemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in children and young adults resident in the area less than 25km from the Dounreay nuclear installation, and in the reminder of the KW postcode area. The full-time period 1968-91 for which data are now available was studied to determine whether the excess incidence reported in the period up to 1984 has continued in subsequent years.
In comparing observed and expected numbers of cases of leukaemia and non- Hodgkin's lymphoma, the expected numbers were based on Scottish national rates.
The authors report that in 1968-91, 12 cases were observed compared with 5.2 expected in the zone within 25km of the Dounreay plant (p=0.007). In the latest period 1985-91, which was not included in the second COMARE report, 4 cases were observed compared with 1.4 expected (p=0.059).
Comare's Advice to Government
COMARE have considered this study and welcomed its publication. The Committee endorsed the methods used.
Eight additional cases of childhood cancer are reported in this study for the period 1985-1991. Of these, 4 were within 25km of Dounreay and these cases give added weight to the previous findings that the raised incidence of childhood and young adult leukaemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in this area is a real phenomenon. COMARE's second report concluded :
"Although chance cannot be entirely dismissed as an explanation of the raised incidence of childhood leukaemia in the vicinity of Dounreay, we consider that it is now less likely than when Sellafield was considered in isolation".
The new findings reinforce that view.
Regarding the causation of leukaemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the area, the Committee considered that this study neither adds nor removes support for the "population mixing" hypothesis suggested by Professor Kinlen. The Committee also noted that the data in the case-control study [Urquhart et all 1991], which examined parental exposure to radiation, showed that the "paternal preconception irradiation" hypothesis put forward by Professor Gardner could not account for the observed excess and that the new data did not change this position.
The Committee concluded that further epidemiological research in the Dounreay area to try to determine causal mechanisms is not considered to be a practicable way forward at present, because of the small number of cases involved. However, the incidence of any new cases of childhood leukaemia which might arise should continue to be monitored at appropriate time periods. Rigorous analysis of pathological material from such individuals should continue to be strongly encouraged.
Health visitors employed by the National Health Service in Scotland<1> (whole time equivalent as at 30 September) |1988 |1992<2> ---------------------------------------------- Scotland |1,515.9|1,408.3 Argyll and Clyde |119.2 |116.3 Ayrshire and Arran |105.7 |88.1 Borders |26.1 |23.2 Dumfries and Galloway |37.3 |27.9 Fife |112.4 |112.7 Forth Valley |89.6 |85.4 Grampian |161.3 |153.9 Greater Glasgow |322.7 |264.3 Highland |46.0 |44.9 Lanarkshire |160.8 |153.6 Lothian |217.9 |211.0 Orkney |7.0 |5.0 Shetland |8.0 |6.7 Tayside |90.9 |107.7 Western Isles |11.0 |7.6 <1> Excludes combined duty nurses and health visitors in training. Includes field work teachers. <2> Grades G to I. These staff are assumed to be qualified health visitors.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the cost in 1993 in Scotland of payments under (a) the environmentally sensitive area scheme, (b) the nitrate sensitive area scheme, (c) the farm and conservation grant scheme, (d) the pilot beef and sheep extensification schemes, (e) the woodland grant scheme, (f) the farm woodland premium scheme, (g) the orchard grubbing scheme, (h) the optional five-year set- aside scheme, (i) the habitat scheme, (j) the moorland scheme, (k) the countryside access scheme and (l) the organic aid scheme ; and what is his estimate of the cost in 1994.
|1993-94 |1994-95 |Actual |Estimated |expenditure|expenditure |£ million |£ million --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Environmentally Sensitive Area Scheme |0.963 |4.500 Nitrate Sensitive Area Scheme |nil |0.100 Farm and Conservation Grant Schemes |5.325 |5.150 Pilot Beef and Sheep Extensification Schemes |0.074 |0.074 Woodland Grant Scheme |11.600 |12.600 Farm Woodland Premium Scheme |0.485 |1.134 Orchard Grubbing Scheme<1> |nil |nil Five-year Set-Aside Scheme |3.981 |2.423 Habitats Scheme |nil |nil Moorland Scheme |nil |nil Set-Aside Access Scheme (Scottish equivalent of Countryside Access Scheme) |nil |nil Organic Aid Scheme |nil |0.950 <1> Scheme now closed.
Dr. Strang : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the cost in 1993 in Scotland of payments under (a) the sheep annual premium, (b) the suckler cow premium, (c) the beef special premium and (d) the hill livestock compensatory allowances ; and what is his estimate of the cost in 1994.
|£ million ----------------------------------------------------------- Sheep Annual Premium Scheme |99.1 Suckler Cow Premium Scheme |43.4 Beef Special Premium Scheme |24.8 Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances |50.9
Estimates for the value of each scheme in Scotland for the 1994 scheme year are detailed below :
|£ million ----------------------------------------------------------- Sheep Annual Premium Scheme |95.7 Suckler Cow Premium Scheme |53.4 Beef Special Premium Scheme |30.7 Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances |40.8
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what changes in the basis of funding of the wheelchair service to individual disabled people he has made following the report to the Scottish Home and Health Department, "How should the Wheelchair Service develop in the Nineties ?" ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) whether his Department has responded to the recommendations made to the Scottish Office Home and Health Department contained in the report "How Should the Wheelchair Service Develop in the Nineties ?" ; and if he will make a statement.