|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many private shopping visits were made by prison officers for inmates in prisons in England and Wales during the week of 2 to 7 January.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 23 January 1995: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about private shopping trips made by prison officers for inmates during the week of 2 to 7 January.
On 19 December the Home Secretary announced in the House that the practice of prison officers going shopping at the behest of prisoners had stopped. Purchases will take place only through the prison canteen. No private shopping trips by prison officers were reported during the week of 2 to 7 January.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the prison policy followed in prisons in England and Wales where private phone calls made by inmates can be paid from public expenditure.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 23 January 1995: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the policy followed in prisons in England and Wales where private phone calls made by prisoners can be paid from public expense.
Following the installation of cardphones in all establishments, prisoners are required to purchase phonecards from their earnings or private cash to make personal calls. Prisoners are only allowed access to an official telephone to make urgent legal and compassionate calls. Prisoners are expected to pay for all calls using an official telephone, unless the governor is satisfied that the prisoner has insufficient funds to meet the cost of the call or the cost is so small as to not justify its collection.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it is the policy of his Department to instruct prison governors and chief officers to visit every area of the prison for which they are responsible on a daily basis.
Letter from A. J. Butler to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 23 January 1995: The Home Secretary has asked me, in the absence of the Director General from the office, to reply to your recent Question about instructions on managers visiting the areas for which they are responsible.
Under Standing Order 3A, the governor exercises a close and constant supervision of the prison. All parts of the prison where prisoners are located, including the hospital, are visited and inspected daily by the governing governor or another of the
Column 49establishment's governors. The remainder of the prison will be inspected by such other managers as the governor designates.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: The Home Secretary has no present plans to meet the chairman and officers of the PGA, nor has the association made such a request. I last met with the Prison Governors Association on 15 November 1994.
Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners have spent more than a total of one month in solitary confinement in the latest year for which figures are available; and what is the extra cost per prisoner per month of solitary confinement.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. David Nicholson, dated 23 January 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking how many prisoners have spent more than a total of one month in solitary confinement in the latest year for which figures are available; and what is the extra cost per prisoner per month of solitary confinement.
No prisoners in England and Wales are kept in solitary confinement, which is a form of punishment designed to deprive a prisoner of all human contact.
Under Prison Rule 43, however, and Young Offender Institution Rule 46, governors may remove prisoners from association with other prisoners for the maintenance of good order and discipline or in their own interests. Information is not available in the form requested, but on 30 June 1994 the number of prisoners segregated under Prison Rule 43 and YOI Rule 46 were:
|30 June 1994 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Good order and discipline: |310, of which 152 for a period of |more than one month; In own interests: |887 held in rule 43 units or |segregation unit on rule 43/46.
Information on the cost of holding prisoners under these Rules is not available.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases he is aware of involving persons released on bail from Immigration Act detention by the Immigration Appeals Authority who have subsequently absconded or otherwise failed to comply with the terms of bail; and in what time period these cases arose.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the privatisation of the data centre in Bootle; what redundancies have ensued; if these redundancies were referred to by the Sema Group in its bid to take over the running of the centre; and what funding his Department provided towards the cost of redundancies.
Mr. Howard: Home Office administrative information technology services have been the subject of a market test under the Government's "Competing for Quality" programme. As previously announced in reply to a question on 19 July 1994, Official Report , column 176 , following the conclusion of the test, it was decided to award a contract for the supply of these services to Sema Group plc. Its bid was judged to represent best value for money following an evaluation on the basis of the full costs to the Home Office of the competing bids.
With some limited exceptions, staff in the undertaking were transferred to Sema Group under the terms of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981. The Home Office did not make any staff redundant: subsequent redundancies by Sema Group are a matter for the company.
In submitting its bid, Sema Group made it clear that the number of staff required for the provision of services under the contract would be dependent on the outcome of an operational review which they would conduct, if awarded the contract.
All payments to Sema Group in connection with the services subject to the market test, including payments associated with their transitional and restructuring costs, have been made in accordance with the contract for the supply of IT services, the precise details of which are commercial in confidence.
Mr. Dafis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements are being made by the Data Protection Registrar to ensure use of the Welsh language in its operation; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The Data Protection Registrar tells me that application forms for registration are currently available in Welsh; that entry on to the register resulting from a Welsh language application is made available to the applicant in Welsh; that the letter confirming registration is also in Welsh; that arrangements are made for letters received in Welsh to be answered in Welsh; and the Office's Wales-based investigation officer is able to conduct interviews and provide oral information through the medium of Welsh. I understand that the registrar will be reviewing these arrangements before preparing a plan for submission to the Welsh Language Board in accordance with the provisions of the Welsh Language Act 1993.
Mr. Hutton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what was the proportion of defendants who received (a) custodial and (b) non-custodial sentences following conviction by magistrates in England and Wales in each year since 1988;
Column 51(2) How many persons were sentenced to a term of imprisonment following conviction by magistrates in England and Wales in each year since 1988.
Number and percentage of defendants sentenced at magistrates' courts by year, type of offence and type of sentence ]England and Wales 1988 1989 1990 <1>1991 <1>1992 <1>1993 |Number |% |Number |% |Number |% |Number |% |Number |% |Number |% ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Indictable offences Total sentenced |289,060 |100 |250,967 |100 |256,211 |100 |252,518 |100 |243,447 |100 |239,851 |100 Immediate custody |19,068 |7 |13,107 |5 |11,259 |4 |13,050 |5 |11,796 |5 |13,898 |6 Non-custodial sentence |269,992 |93 |237,860 |95 |244,952 |96 |239,468 |95 |231,651 |95 |225,953 |94 Summary non-motoring offences Total sentenced |454,595 |100 |469,312 |100 |464,061 |100 |451,210 |100 |468,928 |100 |451,239 |100 Immediate custody |2,569 |1 |3,992 |1 |3,607 |1 |4,221 |1 |3,486 |1 |3,218 |1 Non-custodial sentence |452,026 |99 |465,320 |99 |460,454 |99 |446,989 |99 |465,442 |99 |448,021 |99 Summary motoring offences Total sentenced |713,920 |100 |720,988 |100 |703,284 |100 |711,889 |100 |722,164 |100 |663,963 |100 Immediate custody |2,092 |- |4,541 |1 |4,812 |1 |5,772 |1 |5698 |1 |7,8900 |1 Non-custodial sentence |711,828 |100 |716,447 |99 |698,472 |99 |706,117 |99 |716,466 |99 |656,063 |99 All offences Total sentenced |1,456,925|100 |1,441,267|100 |1,423,556|100 |1,415,617|100 |1,434,539|100 |1,355,053|100 Immediate custody |23,729 |2 |21,640 |2 |19,678 |1 |23,043 |2 |20,980 |1 |25,016 |2 Non-custodial sentence |1,433,196|98 |1,419,627|98 |1,403,878|99 |1,392,574|98 |1,413,559|99 |1,330,037|98 <1>Improvements in the data collection methods used by the Metropolitan police district have led to increases in the number sentenced in these years.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his reply of 10 January, Official Report, column 89, how many of the offers of awards made by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority under the tariff scheme in November have led to appeals.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many payments were made by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in (a) November 1994 and (b) December 1994 in the bands (i) £1,000 to £4,999, (ii) £5,000 to £9,999 and (iii) £10,000 and above.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offers of payment were made by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in September, October and December 1994; and in which of the tariff bands these awards fell.
Awards offered Band |September|October |November -------------------------------------------------- 1 |9 |77 |68 2 |1 |8 |18 3 |8 |48 |95 4 |- |4 |9 5 |5 |20 |40 6 |- |5 |7 7 |9 |44 |43 8 |1 |4 |11 9 |1 |6 |4 10 |1 |4 |5 11 |- |3 |6 12 |3 |15 |11 13 |1 |1 |1 14 |- |- |1 15 |- |1 |- 16 |- |2 |1 17 |1 |1 |1 19 |- |- |1
Column 53Letter from Derek Lewis to Mrs. Barbara Roche, dated 23 January 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the publication of the Prison Service's Annual Report and the reason for its delay.
Although it relates to a past period, publication of the 1993 94 Prison Service Annual Report has been delayed to allow the Report to be updated to reflect the events at Whitemoor and Parkhurst. The report is expected to be published soon.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what special instructions he has given to the assistant chief constable of Essex police with regard to the export of livestock through Brightlingsea.
Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 12 December, Official Report, column 495, concerning overseas travel at public expense by spouses of Ministers what proportion of the spouses' visit was dedicated to official visits and business.
Mr. Howard [holding answer 20 January 1995]: On the two occasions concerned, programmes were drawn up for the spouse by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with practically all the spouse's time dedicated to official visits and duties.
Mr. Nicholas Baker [holding answer 20 January 1995]: Allocations for existing projects which will still be running in 1995 96 should be notified to grant recipients shortly. We hope to announce the outcome of applications for new projects starting in 1995 96 by the end of February.
Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many serving prisoners were sentenced, pursuant to (a) section 53(1) and (b) section 53(2) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933; and how many of these prisoners are now serving their sentences in adult prisons and young offenders' institutions, respectively.
Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 16 January 1995]: 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. Alex Carlile, dated 23 January 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking how many serving prisoners were sentenced
Column 54pursuant to (a) section 53(1) and (b) section 53(2) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933; and how many of these prisoners are now serving their sentences in adult prisons and young offenders' institutions, respectively.
On 30 November 1994, 54 young offenders were held under section 53(1); all apart from two were held in young offender institutions or a remand centre. Nine young offenders were held under section 53(2) life; of these one male was held in an adult establishment. 353 young offenders were held for determinate sentence under section 53(2) of whom 26 were held in adult institutions. Sentenced young offenders include some 21 year olds.
Mr. Watts: The Department's current appraisal methods do not attempt to measure the indirect local economic impacts of road schemes, such as employment. A succession of studies has concluded that to include a measurement of indirect effects in addition to the direct economic benefits risks double counting.
Dr. Mawhinney: We see no need at present for any significant change in the European Community rules on driving hours and rest periods. However, we do attach importance to more consistent and rigorous application and enforcement of existing rules throughout the Community. The Transport Council expressly agreed that objective during the German presidency. With a view to strengthening enforcement, the European Commission has published a draft regulation proposing an addition to the tachograph that would require the digital recording of drivers' hours on smart cards.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in each of the last five years for which figures are available, how many offences were identified by the vehicle inspectorate in relation to drivers' hours in (a) Derbyshire and (b) North Yorkshire; and what percentage these figures represent of the overall national figures.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many licensing authority staff were employed by the licensing authorities by traffic area on (a) 1 April for each year since 1989 and (b) at present.
Traffic Area |1 April 1989|1 April 1990|1 April 1991|1 April 1992|1 April 1993|1 April 1994|Present ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- North Eastern (Newcastle) |46.5 |42.0 |6.0 |- |- |- |- North Eastern (Leeds) |66.0 |63.0 |61.0 |63.0 |60.5 |60.5 |58.0 North Western (Manchester) |104.0 |96.5 |86.5 |71.5 |70.0 |70.0 |67.0 West Midland (Birmingham) |77.0 |73.5 |64.0 |47.5 |47.5 |50.0 |46.0 Eastern (Nottingham) |60.0 |59.5 |36.5 |- |- |- |- Eastern (Cambridge) |57.0 |55.0 |46.5 |64.0 |63.0 |60.0 |56.5 South Wales (Cardiff) |46.0 |37.0 |31.0 |28.5 |28.5 |30.0 |29.0 Western (Bristol) |63.0 |62.0 |67.5 |58.5 |57.5 |56.5 |54.0 Metropolitan (London) |112.5 |104.5 |74.5 |- |- |- |- South Eastern (Eastbourne) |86.0 |84.0 |68.5 |63.5 |61.0 |61.0 |56.0 Scottish (Edinburgh) |80.0 |77.0 |71.0 |61.0 |61.0 |58.0 |44.5 |798.0 |754.0 |613.0 |457.5 |449.0 |446.0 |411.0
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many goods vehicle operator licences were (a) revoked, (b) suspended, (c) curtailed and (d) subject to formal penal warnings by traffic area in each of the last five years for which figures are available.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many public inquiries were held for goods vehicle operator licences for each of the last five years for which figures are available by traffic area; and if he will give, in each case, the reason for the public inquiry.
Mr. Norris: The figures requested are contained in the appendices to the annual reports of the licensing authorities which are available in the Library of the House. To set out the reason for the public inquiry in each case could be done only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has of (a) the number and (b) percentage of people in cars not using seat belts in (a) front seats and (b) rear seats; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Norris: The Transport Research Laboratory carries out six- monthly surveys of seat belt wearing rates. The most recent survey in October 1994 indicated that nationally 92 per cent. of drivers, 93 per cent. of front seat passengers and 67 per cent. of rear seat passengers were wearing seat belts in cars.
Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what conclusions he has drawn about planning for cyclists following his recent trip to Holland; and what plans he has to meet representatives of cycling organisations to discuss his Department's future policies for cycling.
Dr. Mawhinney: My recent visit to the Netherlands will be useful in developing ideas based on last year's Government statement on cycling policy. I shall be meeting representatives of the cyclists public affairs group to continue discussions on a number of issues.
Column 56judgments reached by traffic commissioners in respect of public inquiries held by traffic commissioners; and if he will make a statement as to the merits of education or revocation where previous offences have been proven.
Mr. Norris: Traffic commissioners must judge each individual case on its merits, and it is up to the traffic commissioner concerned, having full regards to all the circumstances, to decide whether revocation or another course is preferable in a particular case. The traffic commissioners and their deputies have regular meetings, however, to discuss the general handling of cases, and the senior traffic commissioner issues guidelines on specific aspects of the legislation, in order to promote consistency.
Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will ensure the maximum provision of hedge planting on the boundaries of new and widened roads for which his Department has a responsibility.
The Minister for Railways and Roads, Mr. John Watts, has asked me to write to you in reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the provision of hedges along trunk roads and motorways.
The Highways Agency fully recognises the importance that hedgerows can have in integrating roads into the adjoining landscape, and the benefits they can bring to nature conservation. For this reason we are keen to see hedgerows retained, and in some cases restored, along boundaries wherever possible.
However, due to the difficulties associated with gaining access to maintain properly boundary hedgerows and fencing, it is our usual practice to provide hedgerows as accommodation works through negotiation with adjacent landowners. We estimate that, on average, around 100km of hedgerow are put back into the landscape in this way each year.
Any feature provided as an accommodation work becomes the property of the landowner once the establishment maintenance is complete, usually after three years. Because of this, some landowners are unwilling to accept hedge planting and we are not empowered to offer any inducements to persuade them to do so. In exceptional circumstances, where hedgerows are deemed essential to the integration of the road, and landowners are unwilling to accept hedge planting as an accommodation work, we may therefore undertake to plant hedges and maintain them throughout the life of a road scheme. Advice on the use of the hedgerows in landscape design is included in the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges, Volume 10 (the Good Roads Guide), a copy of which is in the House of Commons library.
Column 57driving skills training as a response to driving without due care and attention offences.
Mr. Norris: We have no training plans related specifically to drivers who have committed offences, but my right hon. Friend will shortly be launching a voluntary training scheme for drivers who have recently passed the driving test. I welcome the fact that certain police forces are providing driver rectification schemes.
Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what sum is available to London Transport in its current financial year for the support of services considered desirable for social reasons; what criteria are applied by him or adopted by London Regional Transport; and what is the appropriate level of support in pence per passenger mile on those services.
Mr. Norris: The total Government grant available to London Transport in the current financial year is £373 million, excluding the ring- fenced provision for new lines. London Transport is responsible for decisions on the allocation of Government grant and its other resources, and on the general level and structure of services. Social benefits are among the factors taken into account by London Transport in so doing. There is no presumption in favour of any particular level of support per passenger mile.
Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration he is giving to the research findings of Douglas Stewart of the department of engineering at the university of Aberdeen in relation to accident prevention for child pedestrians and the use of pedestrian guard rails.
Mr. Norris: The Department is aware of Dr. Stewart's research on these subjects. Our research programme into accident causation will continue to look at ways of effectively evaluating these and other initiatives.
The Minister for Local Transport and Road Safety, Mr. Stephen Norris, has asked me to write to you in reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about advice on the design of road curves. The Agency and previously the Department of Transport have provided advice on the design of road curves for many years. This advice reflects the results of monitoring the performance of the network and special studies which have been carried out, in the main, by the Transport Research Laboratory.
Additionally, experience abroad is monitored through our various contacts, e.g., Members of the Permanent International Association of Road Congresses, and relevant technical papers are examined to see if any points emerge which require follow up.
Finally the requirements are exposed to peer group review from time to time through professional meetings etc. Where the Highway Agency's engineers find fully substantial evidence that the advice is in need of amendment then revised guidance is issued. There is full liaison with the Scottish Office, Welsh Office and DOENI over their requirements.