Mr. Boateng: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what analysis he has carried out of the likely cost to the legal aid fund of the provisions of the Family Home and Domestic Violence Bill; and when he expects to publish this analysis.
Mr. John M. Taylor: It is estimated that the provisions of the Family Home and Domestic Violence Bill, when fully implemented, could result in some small savings to the legal aid fund. The Lord Chancellor has no plans to publish the analysis.
Mr. John M. Taylor: Rape cases are heard before High Court judges and designated senior circuit judges. The allocation of all business in the Crown court is a judicial function, carried out in accordance with directions issued by the Lord Chief Justice and presiding judges, and is not a matter in which I may intervene.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the reoffending rate for drivers prosecuted for driving without due care and attention; and what reoffending rates have been achieved by the pilot driver rectification schemes that have operated in different parts of the country.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list the occupations that are exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974; if he will revise the Act so that all citizens, irrespective of their occupation, are treated the same; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what consideration he has given to reviewing the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974; and if he will make a statement.
Mr Maclean: Exceptions to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 are most conveniently listed in annex E to the Government's 1993 Green Paper "Disclosure of Criminal Records for Employment Vetting Purposes" CM 2319. A copy is available in the Library. Since that paper was published, osteopaths, chiropractors and operators of the national lottery have been added to the list of excepted categories. We have no plans to amend the Act itself. However, we are reviewing the scope and scale of the exceptions to the Act as part of a wider review of employment vetting arrangements. We intend to publish in the spring a White Paper setting out our proposals.
Mr. Mahon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the basis and rationale for the numerical system in use by police forces to decide whether to charge a suspect with an offence; and if he will give details of the system.
Mr. Maclean: Decisions on charging are matters for chief police officers and the Crown Prosecution Service. I understand that systems offering guidance to police officers in deciding whether to charge or caution a suspect, based upon weights given to different factors, have been in use in a number of forces for some time. Systems vary between forces, but, in general, they are intended to prevent inappropriate use of cautioning.
Mr. Howard: Mr. Lewis is employed on a three-year fixed-term appointment, which can be extended to five years by agreement between him and the Department. Apart from his pay and pension, for which separate arrangements have been made, his conditions of
Column 697employment are as stated in the civil service management code, a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he list the objectives to be met by the head of the Prison Service in order to trigger pay bonuses and their link to the bonus scale;
(2) what was the bonus objective of the head of the Prison Service in respect of limiting criminal damage to prisons by prisoners.
Lady Olga Maitland: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what emphasis was made in the contract of employment for the Director General of the Prison Service in relation to (a) financial management and (b) personnel in respect of relations with the prison officers and inmates.
Mr. Howard: The Director General's responsibilities in respect of financial management and personnel matters are set out not in his contract of employment but in the Prison Service's framework document, a copy of which is in the Library.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set up an inquiry into the destruction of his Department's records relating to the execution of Mr. Mahmood Hussein Mattan in Cardiff in 1952.
Mr. Howard: No. My Department's records relating to this capital murder case were destroyed in November 1986, in the course of the standard review processes applied to departmental records under the Public Records Acts.
Records are preserved at such reviews only if they are of continuing administrative use to the Department or if they are selected for permanent preservation at the Public Record Office on the basis of their historical interest. The vast majority of Home Office records are destroyed during these review processes.
Mr. Boateng: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 13 January, Official Report, column 248, if he will list the names of (a) all the members of the ministerial group on domestic violence and their respective Departments and (b) all the agencies to whom the group intends to send the circular.
Member ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ David Maclean MP (chairman) |Home Office John M. Taylor MP |Lord Chancellor's Department Sir Derek Spencer QC MP |The Law Officers' Department Robert Jones MP |Department of the Environment The Baroness Cumberlege; CBE |Department of Health Ann Widdecombe MP |Employment Department Eric Forth MP |Department for Education Alistair Burt MP |Department of Social Security The Baroness Denton of Wakefield; CBE |Northern Ireland Office The Right Hon. Lord Fraser of Carmyllie: QC |Scottish Office Roderick Richards MP |Welsh Office David Heathcoat-Amory MP |HM Treasury
The list of agencies to which the inter-agency circular on domestic violence will be sent has not yet been finalised, but it will include both statutory and voluntary agencies including, for example, practitioners in the areas of criminal justice, health and housing, and other groups likely to come into contact with those experiencing domestic violence.
Mr. Maclean: The national missing persons bureau was opened at New Scotland Yard in March 1994 and acts as a clearing house for information on vulnerable missing persons reported to the police, including children. It is intended that this function will in due course be undertaken by the police national computer.
LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Lord President of the Council, pursuant to his oral answer of 12 January, Official Report, column 286, on what basis, if the subject of a question was known to him, he would decide whether to include in his reply both formal and informal engagements.
Mr. Newton: On the basis of providing accurate information about relevant contacts, other than correspondence and telephone conversations, to the extent that it was practicable to do so without incurring disproportionate cost.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: We have naturally been concerned at some of the media coverage of British Gas in recent months and the citizens charter unit in the Cabinet Office has been talking to Ofgas and to the Gas Consumers Council, which collects detailed information about British Gas's service to customers. Ofgas's latest figures show that British Gas is meeting the targets for the 39 detailed standards of service set by the regulatory body.
The chairman of the Gas Consumers Council has now written to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster expressing concern at evidence of growing consumer dissatisfaction with British Gas's service. The letter stresses that the council has faith in British Gas as a company that puts safety first and deservedly earned the charter mark in 1993. It suggests that our monitoring of British Gas's charter mark should focus on the performance of the company's newly formed business units against the criteria by which the award was judged and that if British Gas no longer meets the criteria it should be given a time scale in which to make the necessary improvements.
The charter mark focuses on service to the customer and we are obviously always very interested in the views of bodies that represent customers. We will consider the council's concerns and seek to establish the facts. A decision on whether to take away a charter mark would be made only if there were a significant and sustained deterioration in service to the customer.
Standards --setting, monitoring and publication of explicit standards;
Information and openness --full, accurate information, readily available in plain language;
Choice and consultation --choice wherever possible, regular and systematic consultation with those who use services;
Courtesy and helpfulness --courteous and helpful service, from public servants who will normally wear name badges;
Putting things right --if things go wrong, an apology, a full explanation and a swift and effective remedy;
Value for money --efficient and economic delivery of public services and independent validation of performance against standards;
Customer satisfaction --evidence of measures in place which identify improvements and levels of customer satisfaction;
Measurable improvements is the quality of service over the last two or more years --details of the improvements made with evidence that customers appreciate them; and
An innovative enhancement to services without any extra cost to the taxpayer or consumer --details of planned innovations and evidence that they reflect the concerns of customers.
Government expenditure on civil and defence research and development, as percentage of grand total: 1984-85 to 1994-95 (Percentage terms, rounded to nearest whole number) |1984-85 |1985-86 |1986-87 |1987-88 |1988-89 |1989-90 |1990-91 |1991-92 |1992-93 |1993-94 |1994-95 <1>Civil Research and Development |53 |53 |55 |57 |58 |58 |59 |57 |59 |57 |58 Defence |47 |47 |45 |43 |42 |42 |41 |43 |41 |43 |42 <1>Grand Total £ million |4,026 |4,334 |4,358 |4,424 |4,522 |4,810 |5,042 |5,237 |5,449 |5,715 |5,574 <1> Includes indicative UK contribution to the EC budget in respect of Research and Development. Source: Statistical supplement to the Forward Look of Government-Funded Science, Engineering and Technology 1994 (table 1.3.1).
Mr. Barnes: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will introduce a charter for persons with autism in line with the charter adopted at the fourth Autism Europe Congress in May 1992; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: There are no plans to introduce a charter for persons with autism or any other disability. The citizens charter applies to all users of public services equally, including people with disabilities. Public services should be accessible to all those who need them, including persons with autism. To help improve the accessibility of public services the citizens charter unit published "The Citizen's Charter and People With Disabilities--A Checklist" in 1994. This checklist is to help public service organisations ensure that they take
Column 700account of the needs of people with disabilities when making decisions about services and how to make them available to all their customers.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: I am pleased to announce a further rise in the number of women and black and Asian people holding appointments. At 1 September 1994, the proportion of public appointments held by women was 30 per cent. compared with 28 per cent. in 1993. The percentage of black and Asian appointees has increased from 2.3 per cent. to 2.6 per cent. over the same period.
Column 701Full details will be published shortly in the 1994 edition of "Public Bodies".
These two increases show that the Government have been able actively to pursue their policy of appointing more women and members of the ethnic minorities while at the same time ensuring that appointments are made on the basis of aptitude and merit.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average rate of the basic rate of income tax would have to be in 1996 97 if the average total personal tax burden on the average-sized family on average earnings were to average the same over the period from April 1992 to April 1997 as it did in April 1992 to April 1993, assuming that no other tax changes beyond indexation for inflation are announced between now and April 1997.
Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 16 January 1995, Official Report , columns 290 91 , how many of the directors of the royal household have a salary abatement in excess of 6 per cent.; what was the percentage salary increase for the director who is on a short-term contract; how many had salary increases in excess of £5,000 per annum and how many in excess of £20,000 per annum; in which years performance pay has been available to the director on short-term contract; and how many directors in 1993 94 had higher salaries than the principal private secretary to the Queen and the keeper of the privy purse.
Column 702abatement--currently valued at £18,500- -on top of the 6 per cent. after-tax salary deduction, or whose salary exceeds that of the principal private secretary to the Queen and the keeper of the privy purse. His performance bonus for the year to 30 September 1994, the first year of the contract, is yet to be determined. His salary was increased by 5.4 per cent.-- £5,940--with effect from 1 April 1994, in line with the Senior Salaries Review Body award to comparable civil servants. No other director in the royal household received a salary increase in excess of £5,000.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was (a) the value of his standard spending assessment assessments and (b) the total grants after the area cost adjustment as a per capita figure for the counties of (i) Humberside, (ii) Derbyshire (c) Buckinghamshire and (iv) Surrey for each financial year from 1990 91.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: The standard spending assessment, national non- domestic rate and revenue support grant figures for the named county area from 1990 91 to 1995 96 are set out in the tables. The SSA figures are those for the year in question and have not been adjusted to a comparable basis for year-on-year comparisons. The 1993 94, 1994 95 and 1995 96 figures for Surrey do not include any SSA, NNDR or RSG element to the receiver for the Metropolitan police district in respect of police services provided by the Metropolitan police in parts of Surrey. The 1995 96 figures for Buckinghamshire do not include any element to the Thames Valley police authority in respect of police services throughout Buckinghamshire.
The 1995 96 figures are those issued in the provisional local government finance settlement 1995--96, announced on 1 December 1994.
1990-91 |SSA |SSA/Head |NNDR |NNDR/Head|RSG |RSG/Head |£ million|£ |£ million|£ |£ million|£ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Humberside |530.3 |624 |190.9 |224 |158.0 |186 Derbyshire |507.6 |549 |208.8 |226 |100.3 |109 Buckinghamshire |365.3 |582 |137.4 |219 |97.3 |155 Surrey |506.6 |507 |228.9 |229 |83.3 |83
1991-92 |SSA |SSA/Head |NNDR |NNDR/Head|RSG |RSG/Head |£ million|£ |£ million|£ |£ million|£ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Humberside |627.7 |733 |227.1 |265 |153.0 |179 Derbyshire |602.2 |648 |247.5 |266 |85.0 |91 Buckinghamshire |437.8 |690 |161.8 |255 |99.7 |157 Surrey |610.2 |610 |266.4 |266 |77.9 |78
1992-93 |SSA |SSA/Head |NNDR |NNDR/Head|RSG |RSG/Head |£ million|£ |£ million|£ |£ million|£ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Humberside |667.1 |776 |224.5 |261 |277.0 |322 Derbyshire |637.6 |683 |245.2 |263 |211.5 |227 Buckinghamshire |474.3 |741 |160.3 |250 |195.8 |306 Surrey |656.6 |656 |264.6 |264 |223.4 |223
1993-94 |SSA |SSA/Head |NNDR |NNDR/Head|RSG |RSG/Head |£ million|£ |£ million|£ |£ million|£ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Humberside |641.1 |733 |210.3 |240 |305.1 |349 Derbyshire |609.7 |649 |226.0 |240 |238.5 |254 Buckinghamshire |466.2 |728 |153.9 |240 |190.3 |297 Surrey |614.0 |594 |243.3 |235 |162.4 |157
1994-95 |SSA |SSA/Head |NNDR |NNDR/Head|RSG |RSG/Head |£ million|£ |£ million|£ |£ million|£ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Humberside |659.5 |748 |194.7 |221 |329.2 |373 Derbyshire |639.4 |675 |209.3 |221 |211.7 |328 Buckinghamshire |487.0 |754 |142.6 |221 |211.7 |328 Surrey |650.7 |629 |223.6 |216 |202.3 |196
1995-96 |SSA |SSA/Head |NNDR |NNDR/Head|RSG |RSG/Head |£ million|£ |£ million|£ |£ million|£ -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Humberside |674.5 |763 |206.9 |234 |325.7 |368 Derbyshire |653.3 |687 |222.4 |234 |268.4 |282 Buckinghamshire |453.9 |698 |139.9 |215 |185.5 |285 Surrey |674.3 |651 |237.3 |229 |190.3 |184
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what was the percentage increase of grant-related expenditure assessment between 1984 85 and 1989 90 and in the standard spending assessment between 1989 90 and 1994 95 for (a) Yorkshire and Humberside and (b) the south-east; and to what factors he attributes the variation resulting from the formula of needs distribution.
Mr. Robert B. Jones [holding answer 16 January 1995]: The percentage increases in grant-related expenditure between 1984--85 and 1989 90 were 38.6 per cent. for the Yorkshire and Humberside region and 36.9 per cent. for the south east region including London. Grant-related expenditure assessments and standard spending assessments are not fully comparable so comparisons between the GREA for 1989 90 and the SSA for 1994 95 are not given. The percentage increases in standard spending assessments between 1990 91 and 1994 95 were 27.7 per cent. for the Yorkshire and Humberside region and 29.7 per cent. for the south-east region, including London. These variations are attributable to updating data, changing methodology and changing national aggregates. The figures quoted also make no adjustment for any changes in functions or responsibilities.
Column 704and authorities, (a) for and (b) against the area cost adjustment.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: We have identified 76 recent representations from local government organisations and authorities about the area cost adjustment, and these are listed. A number of representations cannot be categorised conclusively as "for" or "against" the area cost adjustment, but the majority of representations from authorities outside London and the south east argue for abolishing or reducing the size of the area cost adjustment or making substantial changes to the methodology for its calculation.
Association of County Councils
Association of London Authorities
Association of Metropolitan Authorities
London Boroughs Association
Abbotskerwell parish council
Bedfordshire county council
Bedfordshire police authority
Berkshire county council
Bradford metropolitan borough council
Calderdale metropolitan borough council
Chelmsford district council
Christchurch district council
Cleveland county council
Copeland district council
Coventry city council
Cumbria county council
Derbyshire county council