Mr. Gapes: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what guidelines have been issued to the judiciary and family courts on section 8 orders of the Children Act 1989; and if he will make a statement.
Column 376commentaries on the Children Act, which will include section 8 in the form of law reports on decided cases and, notably, the Children Act 1989 guidance and regulations, published by HMSO. In addition, in its last report, the Children Act advisory committee highlighted important cases, which included section 8 cases. Copies of the report are sent to all family judiciary.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when he will issue the consultation paper setting out proposals for change to the legal aid system; if he will alter the legal aid means of assessment; how much public money has been granted in criminal and civil cases in each of the last 10 years to applicants in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement on the cases for each of the next three years.
Mr. John M. Taylor: A consultation paper on eligibility for legal aid will be issued shortly that will canvass a number of proposals for change. The legal aid cost of civil and criminal cases, including the cost of legal advice and assistance, in each of the last 10 years, in £ million, was as follows:
1984-85 |1985-86|1986-87|1987-88|1988-89|1989-90|1990-91|1991-92|1992-93|1993-94 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 271 |317 |360 |427 |474 |566 |683 |906 |1,093 |1,210
It is estimated that the number of legal aid acts of assistance will grow to more than 4 million over the next three years.
Mr. Norris: We are taking action in a number of areas. The London bus passengers charter incorporates tough quality of service targets which we set London Transport, covering areas such as waiting times and reliability of bus services. The charter provides a clear framework for bus operators to improve performance by focusing on the needs and views of their customers.
Privatisation of the London Transport bus operating companies will bring the innovation and market responsiveness of the private sector to the provision of all London's bus services. Competitive tendering of London Transport's bus routes will ensure that services are provided as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. We will continue to support the development of a wide range of bus priority measures, with the aim of improving bus flows and making the bus a more attractive option for passengers. London Transport has installed electronic countdown signs on a number of London bus routes showing when to expect the next bus. The New Roads and Streetworks Act 1991 provides for the establishment of street works registers, which will enable London Transport to devise the most effective measures to reduce the impact of essential roadworks on bus services.
Column 376for a bus in each of the London boroughs; and if he will make a statement.
Boroughs |Waiting Time (mins) ---------------------------------------------------------------- Barking and Dagenham |7.04 Barnet |6.44 Bexley |7.40 Brent |6.03 Bromley |7.01 Camden |6.13 City |6.95 Croydon |6.40 Ealing |6.19 Enfield |5.40 Greenwich |7.48 Hackney |6.03 Hammersmith and Fulham |6.75 Haringey |5.95 Harrow |7.01 Havering |6.56 Hillingdon |6.13 Hounslow |6.56 Islington |6.12 Kensington and Chelsea |6.59 Kingston |6.77 Lambeth |6.88 Lewisham |6.97 Merton |8.02 Newham |7.06 Redbridge |6.95 Richmond |6.36 Southwark |6.87 Sutton |7.02 Tower Hamlets |6.87 Waltham Forest |7.00 Wandsworth |7.56 Westminster |6.22
Those figures relate only to high frequency services, for which a timetable is not generally published and most of which have weekday peak frequencies of five buses per hour or more.
Chance of Waiting Per cent. |Less than |10-20 |Over 30 Boroughs |10 minutes|minutes |20-30 |minutes ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Barking and Dagenham |75.12 |21.80 |2.59 |0.49 Barnet |79.38 |17.94 |2.22 |0.46 Bexley |73.27 |22.23 |3.57 |0.83 Brent |80.75 |16.76 |2.12 |0.37 Bromley |75.04 |21.00 |3.20 |0.77 Camden |80.07 |17.03 |2.40 |0.50 City |75.28 |20.34 |3.38 |1.00 Croydon |78.58 |18.18 |2.72 |0.52 Ealing |80.43 |17.18 |2.03 |0.36 Enfield |85.60 |13.02 |1.22 |0.16 Greenwich |71.63 |23.08 |3.96 |1.03 Hackney |80.79 |16.47 |2.23 |0.51 Hammersmith and Fulham |76.41 |19.49 |3.23 |0.87 Haringey |82.39 |15.48 |1.72 |0.40 Harrow |74.58 |22.41 |2.71 |0.30 Havering |78.55 |19.02 |1.98 |0.45 Hillingdon |80.70 |17.18 |1.90 |0.23 Hounslow |78.20 |18.13 |3.07 |0.60 Islington |80.31 |16.77 |2.41 |0.51 Kensington and Chelsea |77.11 |18.48 |3.44 |0.97 Kingston |77.15 |19.61 |2.79 |0.46 Lambeth |75.50 |19.62 |3.83 |1.05 Lewisham |74.70 |21.14 |3.38 |0.78 Merton |68.77 |24.53 |5.33 |1.37 Newham |74.94 |21.32 |2.96 |0.79 Redbridge |75.72 |20.98 |2.69 |0.62 Richmond |79.08 |17.69 |2.74 |0.50 Southwark |75.35 |20.22 |3.54 |0.89 Sutton |74.73 |21.90 |2.86 |0.51 Tower Hamlets |75.63 |20.37 |3.15 |0.85 Waltham Forest |75.92 |20.87 |2.58 |0.62 Wandsworth |71.72 |22.23 |4.58 |1.47 Westminster |79.50 |16.96 |2.82 |0.73
This information relates to high frequency services, for which a timetable is not generally published, and most of which have weekday peak frequencies of five buses per hour or more.
Column 378financing proposal are still under discussion and are not expected to be agreed until the middle of next year.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which Governments intend to, or already have, imposed transit taxes on British trucks using their roads; at what rates; what representations he has made (a) to the Governments concerned and (b) to the EEC Commission to stop such taxes; and whether he intends to impose similar taxes on foreign lorries using United Kingdom roads.
Mr. Norris: Within the European Union Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands intend to introduce in 1995 a joint scheme for charging goods vehicles over 12 tonnes gross weight for the use of any part of the motorway network in those countries. The scheme will apply to all such vehicles, without discrimination, including those registered in those five countries. An annual permit will cost 1,250 ecu, approximately £980, for vehicles with four or more axles and 750 ecu, approximately £590, for vehicles with two or three axles. Permits will also be available for a month, a week or a day at roughly proportional rates. The scheme is permitted under Council directive 93/89/EEC on the taxation and charging of heavy goods vehicles. The principles of the scheme and the rates to be charged were fully discussed by the Transport Council before it adopted the directive.
On joining the Union Austria will adapt the road charging scheme it has operated for heavy goods vehicles for many years. Vehicles are charged per tonne of payload per kilometre travelled on Austrian roads up to a maximum of 300 schillings--approximately £17.50--per tonne of payload per month. Austria will make phased reductions in its charges over two years to align them with the maximum permitted in the directive.
Subject to identifying suitable technology, we intend to introduce a system of electronic motorway tolling in Britain for all vehicles, which would apply to foreign as well as British registered vehicles.
Mr. William O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish a report on the European Union's trans-European transport network listing the United Kingdom airports involved in the Community connecting points.
Mr. Norris: The European Commission presented a proposal for the development of a trans-European transport network at the Transport Council on 18 April 1994. The proposal covers general principles and the components of the network. The trans-European airport network would comprise airports of common interest situated within the territory of the Community which are open to commercial air traffic and which comply with specified criteria. On the basis of these criteria, airports would be grouped into three categories according to their function in the network. The Community connecting points would be the largest airports, whose main function is described in the proposal as linking the Community to the rest of the world. Negotiations on the airports network are not yet complete.
Column 379Under the criteria proposed by the European Commission, the United Kingdom airports qualifying as Community connecting points, on the basis of 1993 traffic levels, would be the London airport system--Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted--and Manchester and Glasgow airports.
Mr. Austin-Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list all stations on British Rail and former British Rail networks and London Underground which are not staffed for any period when they are open to the public; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Watts: No London Underground stations are planned to be unstaffed during the traffic day. The information requested in respect of British Rail and former British Rail networks is not held centrally and is therefore not readily available.
I will write to the hon. Member.
Mr. Austin-Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people were the victims of assault on (a) a Network SouthEast train, (b) a Network SouthEast station, (c) a British Rail station in Greater London and (d) a British Rail train in Greater London for each year from 1979; and how many in each year were women.
Mr. Watts: The former Network SouthEast operational area fell within two of the British Transport Police's operational areas--London north and London south. The tables show reported crime on British Rail and the London Underground for London north and London south for the period 1 April 1992 to 31 March 1994. Comparable information before April 1992 is not readily available in the format requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
All Crimes |London |London Year |Month |(North) |(South) ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1992 |(from April)|12,570 |13,926 1993 |15,214 |18,481 1994 |(to March) |3,536 |4,218 1992 |April |1,207 |1,196 |May |1,341 |1,317 |June |1,376 |1,528 |July |1,439 |1,695 |August |1,422 |1,656 |September |1,481 |1,636 |October |1,654 |1,726 |November |1,355 |1,647 |December |1,292 |1,510 1993 |January |1,329 |1,538 |February |1,248 |1,541 |March |1,511 |1,569 |April |1,262 |1,435 |May |1,142 |1,534 |June |1,380 |1,513 |July |1,403 |1,626 |August |1,228 |1,584 |September |1,279 |1,587 |October |1,272 |1,493 |November |1,178 |1,547 |December |982 |1,453 1994 |January |1,040 |1,360 |February |1,052 |1,236 |March |1,434 |1,622
: (i), (ii): Sexual Offences London North |1992 |1994 |(April- |(January- Offence |December)|1993 |March) ---------------------------------------------------------- Rape |1 |2 |1 Indecent assault |44 |57 |7 Indecent exposure |60 |101 |20 Other |7 |16 |8
London South |1992 |1994 |(April- |(January- Offence |December)|1993 |March) ---------------------------------------------------------- Rape |1 |3 |2 Indecent assault |69 |116 |15 Indecent exposure |131 |120 |37 Other |41 |97 |16
(iii), (iv): Violent Crimes London North Offence 1992 1993 1994 (April-December) (January-March) |Staff |Public|Staff |Public|Staff |Public -------------------------------------------------------------------- Attempted murder |- |1 |- |1 |- |- Grievous bodily harm |1 |12 |8 |19 |2 |6 Wounding |5 |19 |6 |28 |2 |52 Actual bodily harm |45 |136 |59 |197 |- |- Common assault |16 |25 |28 |58 |8 |20 Assault on Police |17 |- |24 |- |3 |- Other |1 |9 |3 |3 |- |1
London South Offence 1992 1993 1994 (April-December) (January-March) |Staff |Public|Staff |Public|Staff |Public ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Attempted murder |- |- |- |- |- |1 Manslaughter |- |1 |- |- |- |- Grievous bodily harm |1 |16 |2 |22 |- |6 Wounding |3 |16 |3 |19 |- |8 Actual bodily harm |74 |229 |85 |266 |22 |99 Common assault |36 |71 |47 |117 |23 |26 Assault on Police |7 |- |25 |- |8 |- Other |2 |6 |1 |15 |1 |6
(v): Robberies London North Offence 1992 1993 1994 (April-December) (January-March) |Staff |Public|Staff |Public|Staff |Public ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Robbery |6 |159 |11 |302 |2 |100 Assault with intent to rob |- |19 |1 |24 |- |5
London South Offence 1992 1993 1994 (April-December) (January-March) |Staff |Public|Staff |Public|Staff |Public ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Robbery |5 |381 |26 |495 |10 |126 Assault with intent to rob |1 |4 |2 |17 |1 |21
Dr. Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the planned 25 type 317 sliding door trains, or other replacement trains, will be available for service on the London, Tilbury and Southend line.
Mr. Watts: It is intended that replacement trains for the London, Tilbury and Southend line will become available following the entry into service of the new Networker trains currently on order under the £150 million leasing concession authorised last year. The timing of entry into service depends on detailed programming of associated infrastructure works.
Sir David Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has on the proportion of British Rail trains carrying first aid kits; and if he will take steps to secure the provision for such kits in all trains in the future.
Mr. Watts: It is a requirement of railway group standards that all passenger trains carry first aid kits as part of their standard safety equipment. On freight trains, the crew are issued with personal first aid kits.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if, as part of his evaluation of possible new east London Thames crossings, he will obtain and publish estimates of the cost of (a) adding a single track of the docklands light railway to the proposed east London river crossing between Beckton and Thamesmead and (b) a singletrack tunnel for the docklands light railway on a similar alignment to the proposed road bridge.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport under which provisions of which Merchant Shipping Acts he has decided to delay publication of the marine accident investigation branch's most recent investigation into the loss of MV Derbyshire; when the marine accident investigation branch completed its report; and when he expects to publish the latest report.
Mr. Norris: No investigation into the loss of MV Derbyshire has been carried out by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch. Under the provision of section 33(7) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1988, the chief inspector of marine accidents was requested by my right hon. Friend to review the sonar and video material provided by the International Transport Workers Federation. The chief inspector expects to submit his findings and advice by the end of November, following which my right hon. Friend will announce what further action he intends to take.
Mr. Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will publish the most recent available figures for outcomes from local authority inquiries in Great Britain under the homelessness legislation.
(2) if he will publish the most recent figures for the number of homeless households in Great Britain, found accommodation by local authorities, analysed by priority need category.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The latest available information on homeless households dealt with by local authorities in England is for the quarter ending June 1994. During the quarter, notifications of completed inquiries were issued in 67,880 cases. Of these, 30,680 households were accepted for permanent rehousing, 29,680 of whom were in priority need; 16,150 households were found to be homeless but not in priority need and were given advice and assistance; 19,940 households were found not be homeless; and 1,110 households were found to be intentionally homeless.
The number of households accepted for permanent rehousing in each of the priority need categories were as follows:-
-------------------------------------------------- Household with dependent child(ren) |17,420 Household member pregnant |3,440 Household member vulnerable: Old age |1,540 Physical handicap |1,630 Mental illness |1,680 Young |960 Domestic violence |1,740 Other |1,010 Homeless in emergency |260 Total accepted and in priority need |29,680
For information about Wales and Scotland I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Wales and for Scotland.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The Department employs four special advisers. Salaries for special advisers are negotiated individually in relation to their previous earnings and are confidential. There are, however, normally paid on a special adviser's salary spine of 34 points, ranging from £19,503 to £67,609. Appointments are non-pensionable, and the salary reflects this.
Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he received a copy of the report on the disposal of radioactive wastes in deep repositories prepared by the Royal Society; and what plans he has to respond to the report's recommendations.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received about his Department's proposal to withdraw damping grant from London local authorities; if he will list the impact of such a proposal for each London local authority in (a) total cash terms and (b) the amount necessary to add to council tax bills equivalent to the amounts withdrawn; and if he will make a statement about his intentions.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: We have received a number of representations from London local authorities on future plans for payment of SSA reduction grant. My right hon. Friend will announce his proposals for SSA reduction grant for 1995 96 very shortly as part of his statement on the local government finance settlement for England.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what arrangement she has made to monitor educational spending on different ethnic groups arising from the single regeneration budget.
We shall expect adequate monitoring arrangements to be put in place to ensure that those sections of the community intended to benefit from SRB- supported projects do so.
Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what advice he has given to manufacturers of women's sanitary products on the use of plastics in these products; (2) If he intends to issue guidelines to manufacturers of women's sanitary products on the use of plastics in these products; (3) If his Department has investigated the impact of the use of plastics in the manufacture of sanitary products upon marine pollution;
(4) What assessment he has made of the extent of the marine pollution problem caused by the use of plastics in women's sanitary products;
(5) If he will hold talks with representatives of water authorities over the use of plastics in women's sanitary products.
(6) what measures his Department has taken to encourage women to bag and bin sanitary products rather than dispose of such products through the sewerage system.
Mr. Atkins: Discussions have been held with the Association of Sanitary Protection Manufacturers, the sewerage undertakers and other interested parties on ways to reduce the environmental problems posed by disposal of these products through the sewerage system. Product design, instructions to consumers on the methods of disposal and improvements to sewerage systems have been discussed. The provision of treatment for all significant discharges of sewage to the sea is expected to bring a major reduction of the problem. The Department
Column 385supports action to persuade consumers to dispose of used products in ways which respect the environment, and is encouraging a national "bag it, bin it" campaign, which is being developed by the water industry. The need for up-to-date and accurate information for the public on issues of this sort will also be addressed through the Government's "Going for Green" initiative.
(2) what considerations apply to the disposal of women's sanitary products (a) via the sewerage system and (b) in household waste; what advice his Department issues on the subject; and if he will make a statement.
(3) if he will review the list of objects classified as clinical waste;
(4) if he has considered the practical problems caused by the classification of sanitary products and nappies as clinical waste.
Mr. Atkins: Clinical waste is now defined in the Controlled Waste Regulations 1992. Guidance on what may fall within the definition of clinical waste is given in waste management paper 25. This guidance has been reviewed and a draft of revised guidance was issued for consultation in August last year.
The Department considers that small quantities of sanitary waste from healthy households are non-hazardous and do not need to be dealt with in the same way as, for example, wastes from hospitals. The revised edition of waste management paper 25, to be published shortly, will urge a pragmatic approach to be taken by the regulatory authorities to this controlled waste stream. It will make it clear that disposal with normal household waste, if securely wrapped, can be an acceptable option.
The Department supports action to persuade consumers to dispose of used products in ways that respect the environment and is encouraging a national "bag it, bin it" campaign being developed by the water industry.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 21 November, Official Report, column 14, how many timberwolf crossbreed dogs are rgistered under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.
Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has concerning the proposal from the Shirayama Shukosan Company to convert County hall, London SE1, into a Pacific-Asia centre; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will call in the original planning consent secured by the Shirayama Shukosan Company to convert County hall, London SE1; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: There are no powers to call in a planning application once consent has been granted. In the case of County hall, consents were granted after a public inquiry following planning appeals to my right hon. Friend.
Mr. Gummer: I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Dr. John Bradfield CBE as the new chairman of the Commission for the New Towns, with effect from 1 February 1995. In the meantime, Sir Neil Shields will remain as chairman until 31 January 1995.
I am delighted that Dr. Bradfield has accepted this appointment, and I am looking forward to working with him as CNT chairman. I am sure he will bring a great deal of energy and expertise to the job of completing the new towns programme.
At the same time I would like to pay warm tribute to Sir Neil Shields who has brought outstanding skills of leadership and diplomacy to his 13 years as chairman of the commission. Those years have seen enormous changes as the new town development corporations have been wound up and the sale of assets has gained momentum. Sir Neil has transformed the commission and coped with all these changes magnificently, while notching up a significant number of achievements for the new towns movement and building a strong base for the future.
I would also like to pay tribute to Lord Finsberg. His role in the Council of Europe and the West European Union has restricted what he can do for CNT but his commitment to its work has been most important, and I am very pleased that he is prepared to continue as deputy chairman of the commission, thus providing the continuity which is so important at this time of significant change.
Sir Ralph Howell: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what is the average payment made to providers in (a) North Norfolk Action, (b) Workstart and (c) all other similar schemes; and what was the total amount paid to all providers in the last year for which figures are available.
Miss Widdecombe: The Employment Department does not collect information centrally on the number of programme providers and the amounts paid to each of them. The fee paid to the providers per place per week in 1994 95 is:
a) for North Norfolk Action, £52
b) for Community Action, £40
The total amount paid to all providers in 1993 94 was:
a) for North Norfolk Action, £215,840
b) for Community Action , £5.6 million
Column 387As community action began in July 1993, the figure does not represent the payments for a complete year.
Workstart is a scheme designed to encourage employers to recruit long-term unemployed people. It pays employers £60 a week per recruit for the first six months and £30 per week for the second six. In 1993 94, £206,397 was paid to employers.
Mr. Paice: Estimates from the spring 1994 labour force survey for Great Britain show that 76 per cent. of those aged 16 to 18 were in full- time education, on a Government employment or training programme or doing a recognised trade apprenticeship. Quality assurance procedures are in place for all Government training programmes funded by the Department but information on the quality of other training is not available.
Miss. Widdecombe: The Department employs one special adviser. Salaries for special advisers are negotiated individually in relation to their previous earnings and are confidential. They are, however, normally paid on a special adviser's salary spine of 34 points, ranging from £19,503 to £67,609. Appointments are non-pensionable and the salary spine reflects this.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment whether, under the proposed jobseeker's allowance, an unemployed claimant will be entitled, without incurring a payment sanction, to (a) decline a job offer without showing good cause where the hours of work would be less than 24 hours per week and (b) whether it will be a good cause for turning down a job offer where (i) the travelling time is excessive or (ii) the work-based expenses a person would incur would represent an unreasonably high proportion of their wages; and if he will make a statement.