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Column 1055K: 29 November, Energy
Internal market in electricity
Review of Community energy law (Council conclusions)
Energy networks (possible)
Energy Charter (probably over lunch)
L: 30 November, Youth Council
Agenda not available
M: 30 November/ 1 December, Justice A items
(i) External frontiers convention--Conclusion on Art.8.(3) (ii) Form of Council agreements on Asylum
(iii) Europol convention
(iv) Nuclear crime
(v) Data protection--interim report
(vi) Extradition--simplified procedure
(vii) CEES. Follow up to the Berlin declaration
(viii) Fraud against the Community Budget
(ix) Asylum: burden-sharing
(x) Racism and xenophobia--interim report from Consultative Commission
(xi) Third Pillar priority objectives for 1995
Mr. Richards: The latest edition of "Education: A Charter for Parents in Wales" has been distributed to every home in Wales. Advance copies were sent to local education authorities, county chief executives, diocesan authorities, teacher organisations and other education organisations, and arrangements are in hand for schools to receive reference copies.
Column 1056trust board indicating the gender and occupation of each individual.
Mr. Redwood: The most recent information about all appointments that I make is set out in "Appointments by the Secretary of State for Wales, 1 September 1994", which is available in the Library of the House: 26.8 per cent. of these appointments are held by women. Those figures include a number of appointments to bodies that are not shown in the Cabinet Office publication, "Public Bodies". The current edition, published in 1993, shows that, of the appointments made by Welsh Office Ministers and included in "Public Bodies", 17 per cent. were held by women in September 1993. Comparable figures for 1994 are being collected and will be published in due course.
Mr. Sweeney: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what changes he proposes to make to the cash limits for (a) his Department and (b) the office of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in Wales for the current financial year.
Mr. Redwood: Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimates, the cash limit on class XV, vote 2 will be reduced by £14,867,000 from £175,198,000 to £160,331,000; the cash limit on class XV, vote 4 will be increased by £4,734,000, from £565, 419,000 to £570,153,000; the cash limit on class XV, vote 5 will be increased by £10,133,000, from £492,775,000 to £502,908,000; the cash limit on class XV, vote 8 will be increased by £10,409,000 from £1, 501,032,000 to £1,511,441,000; the cash limit on class XV, vote 9 will be increased by £819,000 from £65,977,000 to £66,796,000; and the cash limit on class XV, vote 12 will be increased by £203,000 from £7,034,000 to £7,237,000.
Running costs provision for the Welsh Office and the office of Her Majesty's chief inspector of schools in Wales, which was not spent in 1993 94 has been carried forward, under the normal end-year flexibility arrangements, into 1994 95, increasing the running costs limits by £915,000 from £77,094,000 to £78,009,000 and £172,000 from £3,273,000 to £3,445,000 respectively. This is required to cover additional costs in administering agricultural grants following the reform of the common
Column 1057agricultural policy. The local authority capital
limit--WO/LACAP--will be increased by £10,996,000 from £465,469,000 to £476,465,000.
The decrease in the cash limit for vote 2 is the result mainly of a lower than expected demand--£14,400,000--for regional selective assistance, a transfer of £1 million of the Welsh Development Agency's grant in aid to their public expenditure provision for advances from the national loan fund following the introduction of a simplified loan fund scheme, a transfer of £687,000 to WO/LACAP to reflect the transfer of responsibility for rural development grants from the WDA and DBRW to local authorities, a transfer of £1,194,000 from class IV, vote 1 for the SMART and SPUR programmes and a transfer of £25,000 from class III, vote 4 for payments to the Central Science Laboratory.
The increase in the cash limit for vote 4 provides mainly for an additional £2,000,000 for equipment in respect of the "modern apprenticeship" scheme, £2,000,000 extra for the Further Education Funding Council for equipment and building maintenance, £465,000 to fund the transfer of responsibility to the Higher Education Funding Council from the Department for Education and the Home Office for the diplomas in social work and courses in social work and an additional £300,000 for grant-maintained schools for essential maintenance work.
The increase in the cash limit for vote 5 allows mainly for an additional £2,400,000 grant in aid for Cardiff Bay development corporation, £6,532,000 for central Government roads, including the take-up of £3,532,000 end-year flexibility entitlement and the take-up of £1,200,000 end-year flexibility entitlement for the urban investment grant scheme.
The increase in the cash limit for vote 8 results from an additional £4,000,000 for health authorities to help to reduce waiting list times, the take-up of the £10,735,000 of end-year flexibility entitlement for NHS trusts and capital, the transfer of £904,000 from class XII, vote 1 in respect of the purchasing of special health authorities' patient care services from the London postgraduate teaching hospitals and a reduction of £5,230,000 in NHS trusts' investments.
The increase in the cash limit for vote 9 is mainly in respect of the take- up of end-year flexibility entitlement of £948,000 as a result of underspending in 1993 94, a
Column 1058transfer of £77,000 to class XV, vote 12 and increased appropriations in aid. Welsh Office running costs expenditure will be lower in 1995 96 in cash and real terms than in 1993 94 or 1994 95. The increase in the cash limit for vote 12 results mainly from the take-up of £95,000 end-year flexibility entitlement and a transfer of £77,000 from class XV, vote 9 for the repayment costs for services provided to the office of Her Majesty's inspector of schools in Wales by the Welsh Office.
There is also a increase to a non-voted cash limit, WO/LACAP, resulting from the take-up of £10,309,000 end-year flexibility entitlement and the switch of £687,000 from class XV, vote 2 in respect of the transfer of responsibility to local authorities for the rural development grant scheme.
None of the proposed changes will add to the planned total of public expenditure.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many hereditaments in Wales which fall (a) below and (b) above the threshold of £10,000 rateable value, for determining whether the lower limit on year-on-year increases in non-domestic rates bills applies, there are estimated to be, whose rates bills for 1995 96 in the absence of any transitional relief and assuming the rate poundage, as adjusted for the revaluation, is indexed for inflation, would be (i) under 50 per cent., (ii) between 50 and 80 per cent., (iii) between 80 and 120 per cent., (iv) between 120 and 200 per cent., (v) between 200 and 500 per cent., and (vi) over 500 per cent. of their bills for 1994 95; and if he will estimate for each of those categories the aggregate increase or decrease in rates bills between the two years.
Mr. Gwilym Jones: Estimates for Wales based on preliminary results of the 1995 revaluation and assuming for illustrative purposes that the rate poundage is unchanged in real terms between 1994 95 and 1995 96 are given in the following table. In deciding on the actual poundage for 1995 96 my right hon. Friend will have regard to schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 1988, which requires him to take account of both the rise in inflation and the rateable value of all appropriate hereditaments on the last day of the 1990 list and the first day of the 1995 list so that the rate yield from the two lists will be broadly the same.
Estimated increase or decrease in rate bills in Wales between 1994-95 and 1995-96 as a result of the 1995 revaluation, in the absence of transitional relief Small Properties Large Properties Total |Change in |Change in |Change in 1995-96 bills as a |No. (1000s) |bills (£m) |No. (000s) |bills (£m) |No. (000s) |bills (£m) percentage of 1994-95 bills -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Less than 50 |- |- |- |- |- |- 50-80 |- |- |- |- |- |- 80-120 |20 |- |5 |5 |25 |- 120-200 |55 |45 |10 |60 |65 |110 200-500 |10 |15 |- |20 |10 |35 Greater than 500 |- |- |- |5 |- |5 Total |85 |65 |15 |80 |100 |145 Source: Inland Revenue. 1. Figures are rounded to nearest 5 units (- means less than 3 units). 2. Totals may not sum due to rounding. 3. Small properties have a 1 April 1990 rateable value less than £10,000.
Mr. Butcher: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will estimate the number of hereditaments where the transition for the 1990 changes is likely to be incomplete by 31 March 1995 but is likely to be (a) complete and (b) more nearly complete at 1 April 1995 by virtue of a reduction in the rateable value from that date.
Mr. Gwilym Jones: An estimated 19,000 hereditaments in Wales will be in transition on 31 March 1995 when the existing transitional arrangements expire. On the basis of preliminary results from the 1995 revaluation, and assuming the rate poundage rises in line with inflation, less than 1,000 would find themselves with no further increase next year and 1,000 would be closer to reaching their full liability than they are now.
(2) what studies he has commissioned internally and from external consultants, of the likely impact of the April 1995 revaluation of non- domestic property in Wales on rateable values and non-domestic rate bills in different regions and different sectors of the economy; if he will publish those studies or summaries thereof; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Gwilym Jones: The Inland Revenue is analysing the results of the revaluation as they come in. Although numbers are subject to change, the current estimate of the effect of the revaluation on rateable values is given in the following table. The effect on rate bills will depend on the rate poundage which is determined for 1995 96 and the final form of the proposed transitional arrangements for the 1995 revaluation, details of which are contained in a Welsh Office consultation paper issued on 4 October. Copies of the consultation paper will be placed in the Library of the House. My right hon. Friend expects to announce his decisions by the end of November.
Provisional estimates of impact of 1995 revaluation on rateable values. Average percentage increase in 1995 list RV compared with 1990 list RV |Number ------------------------- Shops |23 Offices |43 Warehouses |42 Factories |29 Other |16 All |25 Source: Inland Revenue. <1> All numbers are still subject to change, possibly significant, as the revaluation work progresses. <2> The information is not available on a regional basis for Wales.
Mr. John Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in how many prisons prisoners can receive television via satellite dishes; and how many prisons are planning to install such dishes.
Column 1060Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given. Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. John Marshall, dated 1 November 1994:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about satellite television in Prison Service establishments. 106 establishments in England and Wales have the capacity for prisoners to watch television via satellite dishes, during association periods. Prisoners ability to watch television is restricted and tightly controlled by staff. Satellite television is used as an alternative to the previous practice of watching videos. Satellite television is not financed from public funds. It is funded from the establishment general purposes fund, which is derived from the profits of the prison shop and gifts, or from voluntary contributions by prisoners or well wishers.
Four further prisons are planning to install this facility.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what surveys his Department has carried out as to the effect on education courses in prisons in England and Wales when an inmate is moved to another prison where such courses are not being followed; and if he will make a statement.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 1 November 1994 : The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the effect on prison education courses when a prisoner is moved to a prison that does not offer the same course of study.
Education courses pursued by a prisoner cannot take precedence when a move between prison establishments is dictated by overriding operational needs. Prison education departments are aware that such moves may occur and courses are planned to be as flexible as possible. This has not been the subject of a national survey. On transfer, the receiving education department will make every effort to accommodate the prisoner's needs. The receiving department will accept any continuing costs associated with a course of study which a prisoner is pursuing, including distance learning, course costs and examination fees. We are developing a national curriculum framework, the benefits of which will be to help ensure the continuity of study for prisoners between establishments.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 1 November 1994: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about prisoners' personal possessions.
Prison standing orders specify a number of personal items which prisoners may have in possession, and set out the basis on which decisions are to be made about other items. The fundamental principle determining the amount of property allowed in possession, as well as the acceptability of individual items, is that effective searching should not be prevented, nor should any items constitute a security, safety or health risk.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison inmates (a) men and (b) women have been charged and found guilty of being in possession of drugs in prisons in England and Wales since 1 January.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 1 November 1994: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking how many inmates in prisons in England and Wales were charged and found guilty of being in possession of drugs since 1 January. The provisional figures for January September 1994 show 1,722 proved adjudication findings for male inmates and 13 for female inmates charged with being in possession of controlled drugs. The figures include any proved charges of inciting or assisting other prisoners to possess controlled drugs.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many visitors to each of the prisons in England and Wales have been charged with attempting to take drugs into a prison since 1 January.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 1 November 1994: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the number of visitors to prisons in England and Wales who have been charged with attempting to take drugs into prison since 1 January .
The Prison Service does not keep a central record of decisions by the police to bring charges.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking to support prison officers in their day-to-day duties, with particular reference to the searching of prison inmates and prisoners' cells; and if he will make a statement.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 1 November 1994: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the action taken to support prison officers with their day-to-day duties, particularly with the searching of prison inmates and prisoners' cells.
Prison Officers duties are varied and include maintenance of security and control; provision of regime activities such as offending behaviour programmes; and other work with prisoners. The Prison Service has made significant progress in all of these areas during
Column 1062the last 18 months, due to the energy and commitment of prison officers and other staff.
Particular measures to support prison officers in their security role include:
the use of x-ray machines and metal detector portals and metal detectors to help search people, property and vehicles entering or leaving prisons
specially trained dog handlers and dogs are available to search and detect items such as drugs or explosives in prisons
CCTV has been installed in some visits areas
prison officers receive training in searching procedures and techniques as part of their initial training
the security manual, issued to all establishments giving advice on searching procedures, is being revised and simplified
Governors have to draw up local searching strategies based on the nature of the prison and the type of prisoners held
major refurbishment schemes include significant security improvements, in particular to prisoners' cells
monthly security bulletins are issued to draw attention to lessons from recent incidents and to provide information to Governors on special security topics
drug testing is due to be introduced under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill
perimeter security is being improved in many establishments court escorts have been made more security by the use of double cuffing for category B prisoners and the increased use of secure vehicles
Control measures include:
the strengthening of Governors' disciplinary powers
about half of establishments have introduced differential regimes and local incentive schemes to improve behaviour
more cellular accommodation is being provided for category C prisoners
new allocation procedures have been introduced for category C prisoners, designed to ensure that the mix of prisoners in establishments is monitored and controlled to minimise the risk of disturbances
a project is researching violence in prisons with a view to developing guidance on best practice
Improvements concerned with regimes include:
prisoners are expected to engage actively in work, training, education and other purposeful activities. The target for increasing levels of purposeful activity is being exceeded
offending behaviour programmes are being expanded, with more training for officers involved in these programmes
more than 700 NVQ schemes for prisoners are being implemented through prison workshops and other facilities
Prison officers will have more time to concentrate on these activities as the disruptive court escort work is contracted out and work not requiring a prison officer's expertise is transferred to other grades.