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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans he has to review or change the membership of the British Board of Film Classification following the increase in the board's powers as a result of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill;
(2) if he will ensure that any proposals for changing the membership of the British Board of Film Classification
Column 1170will ensure that the membership reflects an accurate cross-section of society.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary for the Home Department what guidelines will be issued to the British Board of Film Classification concerning the editing and classification of films; and if they will include advice that before a scene is cut it will be viewed in the context of the entire film.
Mr. Maclean: My right hon. and learned Friend has no plans to issue any guidelines on the editing and classification of a video work. The British Board of Film Classification is an independent body and it alone is responsible for determining the classification given to any individual video work. If owners of the rights of works consider decisions by the board to be overly strict, they may appeal to the video appeals committee, itself a separate and independent body.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: In the Greater London area, comprising the inner London, south-east London, south-west London, north-east London and Middlesex probation areas, there are currently a total of 349 approved hostel places. Of these, 273 are designated for men, 28 for women, and a further 48 are available for men or women as required.
Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to publish his findings arising from the consultations he received on wheel clamping following the issue of the consultation paper on this subject in February 1993, and if he will make a statement.
Sir Peter Emery: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the most recent available statistics on the number of offences and the number of persons involved who have over the last number of years committed crimes while on bail; and what steps he is taking to deal with this problem.
Mr. Maclean: Information on the numbers offending while on bail is not collected centrally. A Home Office research report, " RPU Report 65, Offending While on Bail; A Survey of Recent Studies ", gives information on recent studies relating to offences while on bail. A copy of this report is available in the Library. The survey concludes that, on average, between 10 and 12 per cent. of defendants are subsequently convicted of an offence committed while on bail and nowhere was the figure more than 17 per cent. The inference from this and other studies is that more than 50,000 offences per year are committed by persons who are on bail.
Column 1171The Government are committed to preventing offending on bail, through legislation, and by improving the information available to bail decision makers.
The Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill contains seven measures to do with bail. In particular, defendants charged with offences which appear to the court to have been committed while on bail will lose the "right" to bail, and the police have been given powers, to detain to prevent offending, and to arrest without warrant where police bail is breached. The Bail (Amendment) Act 1993, which came into force in the summer, gives the prosecution a right, in certain circumstances, to appeal against the grant of bail. Additionally, the Criminal Justice Act 1993 requires the courts to consider that an offence committed on bail should be treated more seriously when sentencing.
Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportions of successive male cohorts have been convicted of serious offences by the age of 15, 21 and 30 years of age.
Males born in 1953, 1958, 1963, 1968 or 1973: the cumulative percentage convicted<1> at the given age<2>. Born in Age |1953 |1958 |1963 |1968 |1973 ------------------------------------------------- 15 |12.2 |13.5 |12.8 |10.7 |5.2 21 |24.2 |26.4 |26.9 |<3>n/a|<3>n/a 30 |32.5 |34.0 |<3>n/a|<3>n/a|<3>n/a <1> For a "standard list" offence by the end of 1989. <2> Percentage convicted at that age or younger. <3> Not yet available.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultation processes he proposes to undertake with representatives of the Police Federation, and other trade unions representing employees of the Humberside police authority, during his deliberations on the future of police structures in the Humberside area.
Mr. Maclean: Organisations representing the police service and trades unions which represent staff working in support of the police have been invited to comment on the future arrangements for policing in Humberside.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he proposes to have with the Fire Brigades Union on the future arrangements of the fire service in the Humberside area following the abolition of Humberside county council.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: As he has indicated in his reply to a question yesterday from my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Burton (Sir I. Lawrence) my right hon. and learned Friend proposes to establish a combined fire authority for Humberside. Before reaching this decision, he received advice from a sub-committee of the Central Fire Brigades Advisory Council on which the Fire Brigades Union is represented. He will also be considering advice from the sub-committee about the
Column 1172detailed arrangements for the establishment of the combined fire authority.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: The net operating cost per place per week at Her Majesty's prison Holloway in the financial year 1993 94 was £554. The average cost of a place in a bail hostel in that year was £221 per week.
Letter From Derek Lewis to Mr. Peter Bottomley, dated 2 November 1994:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking how many (a) convicted and (b) remand prisoners there were in HMP Holloway in each of the past 24 months.
The information requested is given in the attached table.
Population on last day of each month at Her Majesty's Prison Holloway, August 1992-August 1994<1> Last Day of Each Month |Untried |Convicted<2>|Total ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1992 August |160 |333 |493 September |156 |322 |478 October |145 |288 |433 November |134 |327 |461 December |111 |302 |413 1993 January |120 |271 |391 February |124 |287 |411 March |126 |291 |417 April |127 |287 |414 May |134 |301 |435 June |150 |296 |446 July |160 |297 |457 August |161 |292 |453 September |167 |283 |450 October |186 |270 |456 November |183 |265 |448 December |155 |260 |415 1994 January |167 |279 |446 February |192 |262 |454 March |188 |304 |492 April |163 |272 |435 May |153 |310 |463 June |183 |280 |463 July |197 |286 |483 August |193 |297 |490 <1> Excludes non-criminal prisoners. <2> Includes remand convicted unsentenced and sentenced prisoners.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the visitors who came into the United Kingdom on charter flights KT310 and ULE966 have returned to Jamaica after the period for which they were admitted expired; what steps are being taken to ensure that those who have overstayed in the United Kingdom beyond the date permitted for this visit are being traced with a view to deportation; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: Since departures from the United Kingdom are not comprehensively recorded, the information requested in the first part of the question is not available. The Immigration Service works with the police and other agencies to detect and deal with overstayers, using deportation powers where necessary. Efforts are being made to apprehend a number of passengers who arrived on the flights mentioned by my hon. Friend and are believed to have overstayed.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions his Department has had with the Metropolitan police concerning the arrangements for the CND demonstration on 29 October.
Ms Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the hon. Member for Wallasey will receive a substantive reply to her letter to him dated 26 May, which was forwarded to the Prison Service, reference PO 13447/94, for reply.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Angela Eagle, dated 2 November 1994:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking when you will receive a substantive reply to your letter of 26 May.
I sent you a substantive reply on 2 November.
Ms Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement of the performance of the Prison Service and its Director General in dealing with matters raised by hon. Members on behalf of their constituents.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: I have asked the Director General to ensure that all Members of Parliament raising constituency cases after 17 October receive a reply within 21 days of receipt and have asked officials to introduce a new computerised monitoring system.
Mr. Howard: Revised "Guidelines on Special Branch Work in Great Britain" have been sent to all chief officers of police in Great Britain. I am placing a copy of the guidelines in the Library of the House.
Sir Ivan Lawrence: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when he intends to issue the code of practice on financial management under section 28(c) of the Police Act 1964, as inserted by section 15 of the Police and Magistrates' Courts Act 1994.
Mr. Howard: I have today laid before Parliament a copy of the code of practice on financial management which I have issued under section 28C of the 1964 Act. A copy of the code has been place in the Library of the House.
Mr. Fatchett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to change the law governing amusement arcades to give more power to local authorities; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 31 October 1994]: I have received some representations on this matter which I am considering. The law is set out in section 34 and schedule 9 to the Gaming Act 1968. The grant of a permit for an amusement arcade is at the discretion of the local authority, but a permit cannot be refused without giving the applicant the opportunity of a hearing. There is no power to attach conditions to the grant of a permit. There is a right to appeal to the Crown court against refusal to grant a permit.
Renewal of permits may be refused only on certain limited grounds, such as that the authority has been denied access to inspect the premises.
Ms Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the number of incidents, giving in each case the date, type of incident with brief details, and the outcome, at Strangeways prison, Manchester since April 1994 to the latest available date.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 24 October 1994]: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Ms Joan Ruddock, dated 2 November 1994:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking for a list of incidents, giving in each case the date, type of incident with brief details, and the outcome, at Wolds prison, from 6 April 1992 to the latest available date.
Incidents reported by establishments to Prison Service Headquarters fall into the two categories of "major" or "minor", as defined in Prison Service Circular Instruction 18/1988. I attach details of incidents reported by The Wold during the period in question, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of those convicted of (a) possessing cannabis and (b) trafficking in cannabis were fined the maximum sum in each of the past 10 years.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) remand and (b) convicted prisoner were held in police cells in (i) Nottinghamshire and (ii) the east midlands in each month of 1994 to date.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 1 November 1994]: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Paddy Tipping, dated 2 November 1994:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the numbers of remand and convicted prisoners held in police cells in Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands in each month of 1994 to date.
To date there have been no prisoners held in police cells in Nottinghamshire or the East Midlands in any month in 1994.
Mr. Michael Howard [holding answer 26 October 1994]: The misuse of anabolic steroids is a matter for concern and in view of the harmful effects surrounding their misuse, including a number of serious health problems, the Government have decided to impose further controls on them, in line with a recommendation of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
We propose to change the law to make it an offence, without authority, to produce, supply, or possess or import or export with intent to supply, anabolic steroids and other similar drugs. In accordance with the recommendation of ACMD it would not, however, be an offence simply to possess these drugs in the United Kingdom. The necessary draft order under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and amending regulations to effect these changes will be brought before Parliament in due course.
The proposals deliberately target illicit suppliers and traffickers. The maximum penalties will be three months imprisonment and a £2,500 fine, or both, on summary conviction and five years or an unlimited fine, or both, on indictment.
We intend to keep under review the effectiveness of the new controls in tackling the supply and trafficking of anabolic steroids and, if it proves necessary, we shall consider even tougher measures.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will publish an up-to-date list of all the chairs and non-executive directors of each national health service trust board indicating the gender and occupation of each individual.
Sir Hector Monro: The question of establishing national parks in Scotland has been examined many times. In 1988, Ministers invited the Countryside Commission for Scotland to investigate the management of Scotland's mountain areas. In reporting, the Commission recommended the creation of four national parks and the setting up of land management forums for the management of other, upland, areas. However, public consultation found no consensus in favour of national parks and the Government concluded that they were not satisfied that a need for national parks had been demonstrated.
In 1991, the Government established two working parties to examine the management of the Cairngorms area and of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. These reported in 1992 and 1993 respectively and neither recommended that the national park model be followed. They each recommended management structures tailored to the areas, in particular addressing the different pressures and needs found in each. Both were put to public consultation and the Government expect shortly to indicate how they intend to proceed in relation to the reports.
Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many decommissioning applications have been received from Scottish registered fishing vessels during 1994; how many were successful; if he will give a breakdown according to ports of registration; and if he will list the individual moneys made available per vessel.
Sir Hector Monro: One hundred and forty-nine applications for decommissioning grant were lodged with the Scottish Office Agriculture and Fisheries Department before the closing date of 15 August; 49 of these have been successful in the tendering process and the owners of the vessels have been informed.
The following table shows the distribution of these successful bids between licence ports:
|Number -------------------------- Arbroath |1 Ayr |9 Buckie |9 Campbeltown |7 Eyemouth |1 Fraserburgh |2 Lossiemouth |4 Macduff |2 Mallaig |4 Oban |1 Orkney |1 Pittenweem |1 Portree |1 Stornoway |2 Ullapool |1 Wick |3
These offers of decommissioning grant have not yet been accepted by vessel owners. Until the vessels have
Column 1177been scrapped and the licence entitlements surrendered, individual grant offers must remain confidential between the Department and the applicant.
Mr. Ingram: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what is his estimate of the number of individuals suffering from asthma in each of the past five years for each Scottish health board area; (2) what is the estimate for the number of individuals under the age of 18 years suffering from asthama in each of the past five years in each Scottish health board area.
Deaths from asthma, Scotland, 1990-93 Health Board Area |1990 |1991 |1992 |1993 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Scotland |148 |161 |115 |129 Argyll & Clyde |9 |11 |4 |9 Ayrshire & Arran |19 |24 |15 |12 Borders |8 |3 |5 |6 Dumfries & Galloway |4 |3 |3 |3 Fife |9 |11 |5 |9 Forth Valley |8 |9 |10 |5 Grampian |19 |19 |16 |7 Greater Glasgow |24 |20 |16 |24 Highland |3 |10 |4 |8 Lanarkshire |10 |9 |9 |8 Lothian |18 |24 |17 |26 Orkney |2 |2 |1 |1 Shetland |1 |- |- |1 Tayside |13 |15 |10 |10 Western Isles |1 |1 |- |-
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list those companies which have indicated an interest in the supply of £35 million worth of personal computers to the Common Services Agency; and if he will make a statement.
Tenders have been invited by the supplies division of the Common Services Agency of the NHS in Scotland for central contracts for the supply of personal computers over the next two years. The value of business is expected to be over £5 million per year. Tendering procedures followed EC regulations and 20 companies were invited to tender. Sixteen companies have submitted tenders and these are being evaluated. The successful tenderer will be announced in due course.
Column 1178of his proposals for local government reform; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stewart: Our estimate of the reduction in posts resulting from reform of local government in Scotland ranges from 220 to 1,800, well under 1 per cent. of the total of local government employees. The eventual outcome is of course dependent on the organisational and staffing decisions taken by the new authorities, during the shadow year and beyond.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make it his policy that any new authorities created as a result of local government reorganisation should be capable of directly providing the full range of public and support services within their own resources.
Mr. Stewart: The Government's policy, as set out in the White Paper "Shaping the Future--The New Councils" Cm 2267, is that the proposed new councils should have available a range of service delivery options, including direct provision, joint arrangements of various kinds with other councils and contracting with external suppliers. It will be for each new council to decide how best it can fulfil its statutory obligations with the maximum effectiveness and efficiency.
Mr. Stewart: It has never been a policy of this Government to place jobs at risk. The reform of local government in Scotland is intended to make councils more responsive to the wishes of their citizens, and more effective in the delivery of services. With the removal of unnecessary duplication, it seems likely that fewer staff will be required in the new structure. But we estimate that the reduction in posts will be significantly less than 1 per cent. and with sensible planning by authorities most of this could be found by natural wastage and early retirement measures. Large job losses would imply that local government is currently overmanned.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent assessment he has made of the extent to which his proposals for local government reform would require joint arrangements between local authorities and the contracting of functions in order to maintain both services and facilities at their current levels.
Mr. Stewart: Under the proposed new local government structure, councils will, as now, have a range of options available to them in terms of how they carry out their functions. These will include entering into joint arrangements of various kinds with other councils and contracting with external suppliers. It will be for each new council to decide how best it can fulfil its statutory obligations with the maximum effectiveness and efficiency.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if it is his intention to ensure that, following the implementation of his proposals for local government reform, a package of staff protection and compensation measures will be available which will be at least as beneficial to staff as those arrangements which were put into practice after the last reorganisation of local government; and if he will make a statement.
Column 1179on existing terms and conditions of service. In addition, there exists an extensive framework of employment protection legislation, much of which was not available at the time of the last reorganisation of local government in Scotland. The Secretary of State is currently considering what compensation arrangements should apply in the light of the advice he has received from the Staff Advisory Committee, now the shadow Staff Commission, the views expressed by local authorities in response to consultation and the proposals for England and Wales. Draft regulations are expected to be published by the end of the year.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has to establish a mandatory national framework to maintain continuity of employment for those affected by changes in local government as a result of his proposals, together with full protection of terms and conditions of employment and service; if he will provide sufficient resources, in addition to those required for the maintenance of services at their present levels, to ensure that such protection is available to all of the affected employees; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stewart: In addition to the protection afforded by existing employment law, the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill provides specifically that staff who transfer by order will do so with their existing terms and conditions intact. The Bill also includes safeguards with regard to continuity of service of local government employees. The protection which will be afforded by the Act, following Royal Assent, and by existing employment legislation will place legal requirements and obligations on new authorities which will be taken into account in the local government finance settlements for 1995 96 and subsequent years.
Mr. Macdonald: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will estimate the likely costs to the Government of the public inquiry into the proposed super-quarry at Lingarabay in the Hebrides; and if he will consider contributing to the costs which will be incurred by the Western Isles island council in making
representations to that inquiry.