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Mr. Frank Cook: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications have been made to the interception of communications tribunal challenging his Department's authorisation to intercept the communications of individuals and organisations during the period to date from 1985; how many of these applications have resulted in quashing of the relevant authorisation, destruction of copies of materials intercepted under the authorisations concerned and payment of financial compensation; on average, how long it has taken for the tribunal to consider and reach an outcome on individual applications; and if he will make a statement.
|Number of Year |applications |received --------------------------------------- 1986/87<1> |41 1987 |32 1988 |30 1989 |49 1990 |59 1991 |58 1992 |45 1993 |41 <1> April 1986 to April 1987.
On no occasion has the tribunal concluded that there has been a contravention of sections 2 to 5 of the Interception of Communication Act 1985.
In 1993 the average time taken to complete a tribunal investigation was eight weeks.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department organises receptions for those expressing an interest in public appointments for the first time; how often they are held; what is the annual cost; and how many people attend.
Mr. Maclean: The Government are considering what action to take in respect of wheel clamping on private land. The consultation paper referred to produced much useful information from interested parties. It did not, however produce any consensus on how to ensure that any measure introduced to prevent or deter irresponsible and heavy-handed wheel clamping on private land does not prevent sensible measures from being taken to control genuine parking problems. We will make our conclusions known as soon as possible.
Mr. Parry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received concerning the proposed changes in funding for policing for the Merseyside police authority; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean: We have listened very carefully to the many concerns which have been expressed from Merseyside and elsewhere about the version of the new police funding formula which was exemplified in September. We are now revising the formula to ensure the capacity of police authorities to maintain existing levels of service.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reports he has received from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis concerning the events on 9 October during and after the march and rally against the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Islington, North of 10 October requesting an inquiry into the events of 9 October after the march and rally against the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are (a) the total number of firearms certificates current in London, (b) the number issued in the past year in London and (c) the number of prosecutions made in the past year in London for illegal possession of firearms.
Mr. Maclean: The information requested at (a) and (b) is published in Home Office statistical bulletin Firearm Certificate Statistics, England and Wales 1993' (issue 22/94), table 2, a copy of which can be found in the Library.
One hundred and eight persons were proceeded against in the area covered by the Metropolitan and City of London police forces for the offence of possessing firearms or ammunition without a licence in 1993.
Mr. Maclean: Any imitation firearm which can be readily converted to fire live ammunition is subject to stringent licensing control. But licensing other imitation firearms would be neither feasible nor effective in combatting misuse.
The Firearms (Amendment) Act 1994 has made it an offence to possess an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of unlawful violence. The possession of an imitation firearm in the commission of an indicatable offence carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to make any order or regulations under (a) section 38 and (b) section 39 of the Charities Act 1992; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The deregulation task force on charities and voluntary organisations recommended, among many proposed changes to the law and regulations affecting charities, that the powers in sections 70 and 71 of the Charities Act 1993--formerly sections 38 and 39 of the 1992 Act--be used to amend the investment powers of charity trustees. The position remains, as indicated in the task force's report, that this is under review: first priority is being given to bringing into force new provisions in part II of the 1992 Act--control of fund-raising--and part VI of the 1993 Act--charity accounts, reports and returns.
Column 646order in respect of Gerry Adams made under the Prevention of Terrorism Acts.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions in the past year the spouse of a Minister in his Department has travelled abroad at public expense to accompany a Minister on public duties, and what has been the total cost to public funds; and on how many occasions such travel has been undertaken at own cost.
Mr. Howard: Since 28 October 1993, there have been two occasions when the spouse of a Home Office Minister has accompanied the Minister on public duties overseas. The total cost to public funds was £8,317.
On both occasions the necessary approval was sought in advance of the visit and full official programmes drawn up by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, concentrating on charity work relating to Home Office interests, particularly drugs, were followed.
There was one occasion when a spouse accompanied a Home Office Minister at own cost.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the total number of full-time equivalent section 11 posts held for each education authority in England and Wales for the current financial year.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The table lists all education authorities in England and Wales with projects approved for funding under section 11, including those which, since 1 April 1994, have received such finding from the Department of the Environment's single regeneration budget.
|Number of Authority |approved posts (FTE) ----------------------------------------------------------------- Avon |43.6 Barking and Dagenham |16.6 Barnet |59.31 Bedfordshire |223.9 Berkshire |81.0 Bexley |7.41 Birmingham |456.89 Bolton |63.4 Bradford |411.36 Brent |<2>92.4 Buckinghamshire |91.84 Bury |35.65 Calderdale |74.54 Cambridgeshire |80.0 Camden |89.0 Cheshire |7.0 Cleveland |46.6 Coventry |133.0 Croydon |81.7 Derbyshire |85.5 Devon |<2>1.00 Doncaster |10.95 Dudley |70.6 Durham |11.0 Ealing |188.1 East Sussex |11.6 Enfield |69.5 Essex |2.0 Gateshead |2.0 Gloucestershire |16.7 Greenwich |104.3 Gwent |21.0 Hackney |228.5 Hammersmith and Fulham |44.4 Hampshire |22.9 Haringey |192.28 Harrow |37.0 Havering |3.0 Hereford and Worcester |24.0 Hertfordshire |130.4 Hillingdon |23.35 Hounslow |<1>84.4 Humberside |23.4 Islington |93.0 Kensington and Chelsea |45.0 Kent |88.51 Kingston |7.88 Kirklees |215.42 Lambeth |<2>61.2 Lancashire |330.94 Leeds |129.5 Leicestershire |216.87 Lewisham |111.45 Lincolnshire |4.5 Liverpool |<2>16.7 Manchester |<1>164.28 Merton |34.28 Newcastle |17.5 Newham |141.8 Norfolk |5.65 Northamptonshire |50.91 North Tyneside |9.7 North Yorks |4.0 Nottinghamshire |99.9 Oldham |117.3 Oxfordshire |<2>58.4 Redbridge |59.57 Richmond |4.5 Rochdale |75.7 Rotherham |32.9 St Helens |1.35 Salford |6.5 Sandwell |97.5 Sheffield |137.5 Shropshire |7.0 South Glamorgan |39.9 Southwark |<1>97.1 Staffordshire |59.75 Stockport |6.52 Suffolk |22.96 Sunderland |9.29 Surrey |24.5 Sutton |3.5 Tameside |35.49 Tower Hamlets |<1>379.5 Trafford |20.5 Wakefield |22.0 Walsall |78.7 Waltham Forest |138.0 Wandsworth |86.7 Warwickshire |67.42 Westminster |96.4 West Sussex |16.89 Wigan |<2>3.5 Wiltshire |10.2 Wirral |6.0 Wolverhampton |138.5 Notes: The number of posts shown is as at 24 October 1994 except <1> to be finally confirmed with the authority. <2> number of posts eligible for grant funding as at 1 April 1994; awaiting information from the authority about possible changes in the light of the announced reduction in funding from 1994-95.
Sir Ivan Lawrence: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the review of the blanket retention of civil and home defence records announced in the White Paper on open government has been completed.
Mr. Howard: The review of the blanket retention of civil and home defence records has been completed. I am pleased to announce that with the approval of the Lord Chancellor, it has been decided not to renew the blanket provision. This is in line with the open government initiatives introduced by the Government where the emphasis is on release rather than retention of records.
Government Departments which hold records relating to civil and home defence will now review them individually on the basis of guidance provided jointly by my Department and the Cabinet Office, with a view to releasing those which are no longer regarded as sensitive.
Ms Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what was the number of assaults (a) by prisoners on prisoners, (b) by prisoners on staff and (c) other assaults which took place in each prison in England and Wales each month of 1992 and 1993; (2) if he will list the number of assaults (a) by prisoners on prisoners and (b) by prisoners on staff, in each prison in England and Wales for each month of 1994 to the latest available date.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 24 October 1994]: Responsibility for these matters 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 26 October 1994:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your two recent Questions asking for the number of assaults by prisoners on other prisoners and on staff and others in each prison in England and Wales for each month of 1992, 1993 and of 1994 to the latest available date.
The enclosed tables give the numbers of assaults proved at adjudication under the prison discipline system for January 1992 to September 1994. In view of their bulk, I have arranged for them to be placed in the Library of the House rather than printed in the Official Report. Information on the small number of assaults other than on staff or prisoners is included with assaults on staff in the tables; it is published separately on an annual basis by establishment in "Statistics of offences against prison discipline and punishments, England and Wales" (Cm 2411 for 1992 and Cm 2664 for 1993), copies of which are in the Library of the House.
Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Technology to Cuba.
Mr. Ian Taylor: I visited Cuba between 12 and 14 September 1994, as the guest of the Cuban Minister for Foreign Trade, Senor Ricardo Cabrisas. It was the first visit to Cuba by a British Minister since 1975. I was accompanied by a 15-strong team of business men and women and by the chairman and director of the Department's Caribbean trade advisory group-- CARITAG. We were warmly received and had productive meetings with key Cuban Ministers and with President Castro. Following the ending of preferential trade arrangements with the former Soviet Union, Cuba has begun to reform its economy along more market-oriented lines. The Cuban Government described this process as irreversible and the intention is to take it forward.
On this basis, United Kingdom industry can respond more positively to Cuba's welcome of trade, investment and advice from Britain. It recognises its outstanding debt as an impediment to trade on normal commercial terms. The business group and I identified opportunities for British business in the provision of advice on the management of a market economy and in longer -term joint ventures. Commercial negotiations during our visit were advanced in transport, agri-business, construction, tourism and financial services. On 14 September, I initialled a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement which will give further confidence to investors. Cuba is moving towards a more open trading relationship with developed market economies and this should encourage domestic reform. Subject to this process being continued and developed, I have asked CARITAG to make proposals for a private-sector-led group to co-ordinate discussion and to progress the many specific commercial and related issues raised during my visit.
Mr. Burden: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are his criteria for proscribing trade on the basis of a country's human rights record; and if he will make a statement on their application to Indonesia.
Mr. Ian Taylor: The Government subscribe to the common criteria for arms transfers agreed with EU partners at Luxembourg in 1991 and at Lisbon in 1992, and the principles governing arms transfers agreed by the forum for security co-operation of the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe in November 1993. These include consideration of human rights.
No prohibition on trade has been introduced in respect of Indonesia. Export licences are required for some goods and applications are considered on a case by case basis taking into account the above criteria as appropriate.
In this case, such considerations justify disclosing that to date in 1994 we have issued 26 export licences for goods in schedule 1, group 1 part III of the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994--the military list. The total value of these goods licensed for export is £14.69 million. Licences are valid for two years.
Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will ensure that the human rights record of the Indonesian Government are taken into account when deciding whether to grant an export licence for the export of tanks to Indonesia; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ian Taylor: The human rights record of a recipient country is one of a number of factors taken into account during the consideration of an application for an export licence for military and paramilitary equipment.
Mr. Ian Taylor: The total number of permanent staff employed by my Department on 1 October was 10,594--part-time staff are counted as half. The proportion employed in each standard region is shown in the following table:
Proportion by |Percentage of total standard region ----------------------------------------------------------------- Northern Ireland |0.05 Scotland |4.05 Wales |17.62 North |2.19 North West |3.29 Yorkshire and Humberside |2.49 East Midlands |2.10 West Midlands |4.06 South West |2.23 South East |<1>60.70 East Anglia |1.22 <1> of which London-Inner-46.06 per cent., Outer-11.94 per cent. Rest of South East-2.7 per cent.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish a table showing the number of meetings held, the secretarial and advisory arrangements, the budgeted and actual expenditure and the subjects of any reports and submissions produced by the fuel cell advisory panel in each of the last three years.
Mr. Ian Taylor: The fuel cell advisory panel was established in April 1992 and has met on a total of eight occasions, with three meetings in 1992 93 and four in 1993 94. Secretarial support is provided by the energy technology support unit--ETSU--which manages my Department's advanced fuel cell research and development programme, on which the panel advises. This advice, which includes the assessment of individual proposals for funding, is given through discussion at the panel's meetings, the minutes of which are not published
Column 651for reasons of commercial confidentiality. As an advisory body the panel does not disburse funds itself and membership is unpaid. The administrative costs of the panel are met from the programme management budget and published each year in a report prepared by the Cabinet Office. A copy of the latest edition, "Public Bodies 1993", is available in the Library of the House. DTI expenditure on projects within the programme amounted to £0.36 million in 1992 93 and £0.83 million in 1993 94. The budget for 1994 95 is £1 million. The total value of projects supported by the programme to date is £14.7 million, for a DTI contribution, including future commitments, of £2.6 million. Two technical strategies, for solid polymer and solid oxide fuel cells, prepared by ETSU and endorsed by the panel, were published by ETSU this summer and I have placed copies in the Library of the House. A wide range of information on projects within the programme is also published by ETSU.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish a table showing the number of meetings held, the secretarial and advisory arrangements, the budgeted and actual expenditure and the subjects of any reports and submissions produced by the Advisory Committee for Arbitration Law in each of the last three years.
Mr. Heseltine: The departmental advisory committee on arbitration law has met in full once a year in each of the last three years. The Committee has no dedicated secretarial or advisory staff nor does it have an allocated budget or expenditure functions. Secretarial support is provided by staff in my Department. My Department in co-operation with the committee published a consultation document on a draft Arbitration Bill in February 1994. No other submissions have been published in the last three years.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish a table showing the number of meetings held, the secretarial and advisory arrangements, the budgeted and actual expenditure and the subjects of any reports and submissions produced by the Aviation committee in each of the last three years.
Mr. Charles Wardle: The Aviation committee will meet four times this year and met three times in each of the past two years. Secretarial and administration functions are provided by the Department and cost approximately £30,000 per annum. There is no separate budget. The advisory arrangements are that the committee may communicate its advice during meetings to officials, who attend throughout, or in writing or by making presentations to Ministers. The subjects of such advice were as follows:
1992 : The Control Technology Programme
The National Strategic Technology Acquisition Plan (NSTAP) 1993 : NSTAP: Report to the Select Committee on Trade and Industry Science, Technology and Engineering White Paper: relationship with NSTAP
Column 6521994 : Technology Co-ordinators: Implementation of NSTAP An Industry StrategyThe Hercules Replacement
Mr. Harvey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish a table showing the number of meetings held, the secretarial and advisory arrangements, the budgeted and actual expenditure and the subjects of any reports and submissions produced by the Standing Advisory Committee on Industrial Property in each of the last three years.
Mr. Ian Taylor: The secretariat of the Standing Advisory Committee on Industrial Property is provided by the Intellectual Property Policy Directorate--IPPD--of the Patent Office. Expenditure on this task is not budgeted separately from IPPD's other policy work. The committee's advice is sought by correspondence and at meetings. The meetings held in the last three years are as follows:
Financial Year |Number of Meetings --------------------------------------------------------- 1991-92 |3 1992-93 |3 1993-94 |4
Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what sanctions can be taken against cable operators who fail to adhere to the proposed guidelines designed to minimise damage to tree roots; and what body is to be responsible for administering such sanctions.
Mr. Ian Taylor: The guidelines on minimising damage to street trees now agreed by the national joint utilities group, the arboricultural industry and the Cable Communications Association, are voluntary. Like other operators of underground services, the cable industry is committed to ensuring that its contractors follow best practice, including the need to hand-dig around the roots of trees. The effectiveness of the guidelines will be reviewed after they have been in operation for six months. We welcome the increased efforts of the Cable Communications Association to meet public concerns about safety of trees.
Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list each public opinion survey commissioned by (a) his Department and (b) his agencies since 1 October 1992, showing for each, the subject, objectives, total cost, the period in which it was conducted and the organisation from which it was commissioned.
Mr. Ian Taylor: Surveys commissioned by my Department which included questions concerning public opinion since October 1992 are given in the table. No such surveys were conducted by DTI agencies during this period. Information on the fee paid cannot be disclosed due to commercial confidentiality considerations.
DTI Surveys Including Questions About Public Opinion Since 1 October 1992 |Organisation |Period in |from which Survey |Objective |which conducted |commissioned --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mountain Bike Study |Establish |March 1994 |Nottingham |proportion of |University |cyclists in |Institute for |population; |Occupational |types of bike |Ergonomics |they use; |and accidents |suffered Metrication Survey |Assess public |April 1994 |RSGB Ltd |attitudes before |implementation |of EC Directive |on Metric |food pricing Child Usage of Gas |Assess the |November |Children's and Electrical |extent of |1993 |Research Unit Consumer Products |children's |everyday use |of such |appliances Renewable Energy |Assess extent |September |RSGB Ltd Awareness |of public |1993 |awareness of |renewable energy
Dr. Marek: To ask the President of the Board of Trade which Crown post offices have been closed in the last 15 years; which have been transferred from one premises to another; and what proposals the Post Office has for further closures or relocations.
Mr. Eggar: I understand from the Post Office that between March 1979 and March 1994 the number of Crown post offices has been reduced from 1,580 to 800. This is not primarily the result of office closures; of this reduction, 675 have been converted to franchise or agency offices either in the same premises or in suitable premises nearby. Such converted offices continue to offer the full range of services available at Crown offices, and in many cases offer longer opening hours and improved access. Of the remaining 105, a number have not involved closure but the merger of two neighbouring Crown offices, again continuing to provide the full range of services. The Post Office has no plans at present to close or merge any further Crown offices. It does, however, intend to continue the Crown conversion programme, though decisions on such conversions are taken at regional management level. Where a Crown office is considered for conversion, a consultation process is undertaken with the local Member of Parliament and representative local bodies.
The records of individual Crown office closures and mergers since 1979 are not held centrally by the Post Office and collecting this information would entail disproportionate cost.
Ms Estelle Morris: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 19 October, O fficial Report, column 239 , what percentage of responses were in favour of (a) granting the Post Office freedoms within the public sector, (b) a 100 per cent. share sale and (c)
Column 654joint ownership by Government, public and employees with the Government selling 51 per cent. of shares.
|Headquarters |Labour Costs (inc Year |Staff Numbers |NI Contributions) |£ million ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1990-91 |379 |8.9 1991-92 |388 |9.9 1992-93 |359 |9.3 1993-94 |354 |9.9
Year |£ million ------------------------------ 1979-80 |1 1980-81 |nil 1981-82 |nil 1982-83 |nil 1983-84 |2 1984-85 |3 1985 -86 |2 1986-87 |3 1987-88 |59 1988-89 |40 1989-90 |32 1990-91 |78 1991-92 |72 1992-93 |87 1993-94 |83
Mr. Eggar [holding answer 24 October 1994]: At the end of the consultation period we had received some 13,400 responses to the Green Paper. It is for respondents to make public the views they expressed if they choose to do so.
Column 655the Government's favoured option; and how many were against; (2) how many members of the public responded to his Green Paper, "The Future of Postal Services", and how many of them were in favour of breaking up and privatising the Post Office.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what contribution his Department is making to the International Atomic Energy Agency's DECADES project on the comparative assessment of the environmental aspects, economic competitiveness and technical reliability of different electricity generating systems.
Mr. Ian Taylor: The DECADES project, part of the global response to energy and environmental concerns that arose in the 1990s, is being carried out by the IAEA and eight other organisations and works on databases and methodologies for comparative assessment of different energy sources for electricity.
Results are scheduled for presentation in September 1995 at an international symposium in Vienna on electricity, health and the environment.
The International Atomic Energy Agency share of the project is mainly funded from the regular budget to which the United kingdom contributes its share in full, as we do also with the other organisations involved in the project. It would be uneconomic to enumerate the exact contribution attributable to the Uuited Kingdom amongst the nine organisations involved. The DTI has also co-ordinated the attendance of experts from industry and government from the United Kingdom at meetings being held in the framework of the project.