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Column 510HMP Long Lartin: appointment made and new governor takes up post on 30 January.
HMP Shrewsbury: appointment pending.
The new governor of HMP Parkhurst took up post on 16 January, which in turn created a vacant post to be filled at HMP Albany.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) men and (b) women who are classified as foreign nationals are currently serving a life prison sentence in a prison in England and Wales.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 30 January 1995: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking, how many (a) men and (b) women who are classified as foreign nationals are currently serving a life prison sentence in a prison in England and Wales.
The latest available provisional information is for 30 November 1994. On that date there were 490 non-British citizens (474 males and 16 females) serving a life sentence in Prison Service establishments in England and Wales. This includes 56 male and 4 female nationals from the Irish Republic.
Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 12 January, Official Report , column 202 , for the non-payment of which types of fine the 11 people in Leeds prison are jailed.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. John Battle, dated 30 January 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about fine defaulters at Leeds prison.
On 14 December there were 11 prisoners serving sentences for non-payment of fines imposed as follows:
Offence on warrant
assault on police
traffic offence (4)
criminal damage (2)
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the provision of security coverage to prisoners receiving outside hospital treatment; and who is responsible for the payment of costs incurred.
Column 511Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 30 January 1995: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about security coverage during visits to outside hospitals.
The level of security coverage to be provided is a matter for the governor in each case. Guidance is contained in section 60 of the Security Manual, copies of which are in the Library of the House. The cost of escorts to hospitals, as with other kinds of escort, is met by the prison.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if the current version of the European Union's data protection directive contains provisions regarding personal data derived from DNA samples of the dead; and if he will make a statement; (2) if the current version of the European Union's data protection directive contains provision about access by the data subject to non-automated personal data; and if he will make a statement; (3) whether the current version of the European Union's data protection directive contains provision regarding the giving of consent by the data subject, in certain circumstances, to the use and disclosure of personal data; and if he will make a statement; (4) if the current version of the European Union's data protection directive protects the individual by restricting the holding of sensitive personal data to those controllers authorised by the United Kingdom Parliament; and what plans he has to introduce such restrictions in the United Kingdom.
This version contains no reference to DNA. It provides for similar rights of subject access to both computerised data and data in manual filing systems. It allows processing to be carried out if any one of a number of conditions is met. These conditions include the giving of consent by the data subject.
The present text will not necessarily require the United Kingdom Parliament to authorise individual controllers to process sensitive personal data. If the directive is adopted, the Government will consider how to implement it in due course.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement concerning progress towards agreement on the European Union's data protection directive; if he will indicate those areas where the United Kingdom Government still have major concerns; if he expects to vote against parts of the
Column 512directive at a forthcoming meeting of the Council of Ministers in February; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: Negotiations within Council on the draft data protection directive are likely to be concluded under the French presidency. The Government continue to have reservations about a number of aspects of the directive: their final position will be determined when negotiations within the Council are concluded.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the salary paid to Mr. John Marriott when governor of Parkhurst prison; and what will be the salary paid to him in his new position.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 30 January 1995 : Mr. Marriott is Governor Grade 1 and was and is paid the salary for that grade within the range £46,986 and £48,025. His salary will not change as a result of taking up his new position.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what procedures his Department has put in place for monitoring the success of the new arrangements for the entry of overseas domestic workers;
(2) what safeguards he has put in place to ensure that employers of overseas domestic workers honour agreements made to their workers under the new agreements announced on 9 December, once they have entered the United Kingdom.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if the new arrangements for the admission of overseas domestic workers announced on 9 December will clearly set out standards of employment which conform to United Kingdom labour laws.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The new arrangements include a requirement for the employer to provide a written statement, setting out the main terms and conditions of employment, a copy of which must be given to the domestic worker, who must confirm that he or she agrees to them. Contractual employment terms are generally matters for the parties concerned and are not regulated by United Kingdom legislation.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what specific guidelines as to what constitutes adequate maintenance and accommodation will be included in the new arrangements announced on 9 December, Official Report, columns 379 80 for the admission of overseas domestic workers
Mr. Nicholas Baker: Entry clearance officers already have guidance on the application of the maintenance and accommodation requirements of the immigration rules. Separate guidance has not been issued in relation to overseas domestic workers. A domestic worker must be provided with a separate bedroom.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: Twenty per cent. of available national lottery proceeds has been allocated for disbursement to eligible bodies by the National Lottery Charities Board. The board is an independent body, which will devise its own policies, practices and procedures, within the framework of the legislation. I understand that its present aim is to issue guidelines to applicants during the course of the year and to begin considering applications and making grants towards the end of the year.
The other national lottery distributing bodies are also able to make grants to charities in their respective subject areas.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions his Department has brought forward for cruelty to livestock in each month since 19 January 1994; and how many of the defendants in these cases used lawyers paid for from legal aid.
Mr. Maclean: The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and not the Home Department is involved in proceedings for cruelty to livestock. No data for 1994 will be available until autumn 1995. The table shows the number of prosecutions under the Protection of Animals Act 1911 and Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 by type of proceedings and month for 1993. Information held centrally does not identify the individual summoning body, nor the number of cases receiving legal aid by offence type.
Number of prosecutions under the Protection of Animals Act 1911 (as amended)<1> and Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 by type of proceedings and month 1993 England and Wales Type of proceedings |Summons other Offence/month |Apprehension |Summons by police|than by police |Total ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Protection of Animals Act 1911<1> January |7 |28 |56 |91 February |7 |32 |61 |100 March |3 |30 |76 |109 April |4 |9 |58 |71 May |7 |21 |49 |77 June |7 |19 |78 |104 July |7 |19 |84 |110 August |5 |13 |61 |79 September |7 |18 |77 |102 October |9 |22 |67 |98 November |7 |15 |66 |88 December |5 |10 |40 |55 Annual |75 |236 |773 |1,084 Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968-Sections 1, 2 and 6 (relating to welfare of livestock) January |- |- |2 |2 February |- |3 |2 |5 March |- |- |7 |7 April |- |1 |2 |3 May |- |- |1 |1 June |- |2 |1 |3 July |1 |- |4 |5 August |- |- |1 |1 September |- |- |- |- October |- |- |2 |2 November |- |- |2 |2 December |- |- |4 |4 Annual |1 |6 |28 |35 <1> Cannot distinguish between offences involving livestock or other animals. Note: The statistics of court proceedings are based on returns made by the police to the Home Office and although these include offences where there has been no police involvement, such as those prosecutions instigated by government departments, private organisations and individuals, the reporting of these types of offence is known to be incomplete. Where proceedings involve more than one offence, the table records the principal offence.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the cost of the use of video and still camera equipment by the Essex police at Brightlingsea in each month since October 1994.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: I understand from the chief constable of Essex that such equipment has only been used in Brightlingsea during January 1995. As at 27 January, the cost was estimated at £1,100 for video equipment and £280 for still cameras.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The Court of Appeal is currently considering a case involving the power to detain certain people who have sought asylum and the court's judgment will be given very careful consideration once it is received. In the meantime, it is not proposed to change our current general practice which results in the detention of only a very small proportion of people who have sought asylum.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what international conventions govern the practice of restraining failed asylum seekers in flight, and withholding their documents and handing them to the authorities of their country of origin; (2) what are the procedures when failed asylum seekers are returned under escort to (a) Angola, (b) Ghana, (c) Zaire, (d) Sierra Leone, (e) Sri Lanka, (f) Turkey and (g) Uganda;
(3) what are the procedures for returning refused asylum seekers under escort to their country of origin; and if the passenger together with his travel documents is handed over to the security services at the receiving airport;
(4) in what circumstances the tranquillising drug largactil or chlorpromazine is given in the forced removal of failed asylum seekers; who determines the dose; and who administers it.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The powers of the commander of an aircraft to authorise the use of restraints in flight flows from article 6 of the Tokyo convention 1963. I am not aware of any international convention governing the handling of travel documents in these circumstances. Escorted asylum seekers are normally invited to disembark at the country of destination in possession of their own documentation. The procedures for removing failed asylum seekers under escort are the same irrespective of the country of destination. The person would not normally be drawn to the attention of the authorities in the country of destination unless this was considered appropriate e.g. in relation to a criminal offence. The administration of medication is a matter for a medical practitioner to decide. Sedation is not used as a means to effect removal.
Column 516employment vetting purposes; and if he will make a statement; (2) what plans he has for the introduction of conviction certificates for employment vetting purposes.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: We plan to publish a White Paper outlining our proposals for new arrangements for the disclosure of criminal records in late spring. The White Paper may include the proposal that people should be able to apply for a certificate showing any convictions they may have which are unspent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Employers could then ask to see such a certificate before making a firm job offer.
Mr. Howard Further to his reply 1 December, Official Report, columns 844 -45: I have today laid before the House the Police GrantReport (England and Wales) 1995 96. The report sets out the amount of police grant to be made available to individual police authorities in 1995 96. It should be read in conjunction with the Local Government Finance Report (England) 1995 96, the Limitation of Council Tax and Precepts (Relevant Notional Amounts) Report (England) 1995 96 and the Special Grant Report (No. 12), which was today laid before the House by my hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, and, for Welsh police forces, with the information being given to the House this afternoon by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
I am placing in the Library and in the Vote Office copies of a table showing by police force area the total effect of these announcements as they relate to police funding in England and Wales.
30. Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners what conclusions the Church Commissioners have drawn from their independent actuaries' consultants reports.
Mr. Alison: The commissioners have accepted their actuaries' advice that in their endeavours to meet the commitments placed upon them they have been over distributing their income and that contributions should be collected from Church members to finance the cost of pension benefits accruing in the future.
31. Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the right hon. member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners if (a) beneficed clergy, (b) other clergy, (c) bishops and (d) archbishops are to be asked to conduct acts of worship in schools; and if he will make a statement.
32. Sir Michael Neubert: To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners what assessment the Commission has made of the effect of changes in the average age of churchgoers on the finances of the Church of England.
Mr. Alison: None. The Central Board of Finance of the Church of England collects financial and membership information annually from the parishes, but does not hold data on the age profile of congregations.
34. Mr. Cohen: To ask the right hon. Member for Selby, as representing the Church Commissioners what is the Church Commissioners' policy in respect of investing in companies engaged in the arms trade.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what representations he has received regarding the safety of Benefits Agency staff dealing with income support claims and the proposed jobseekers allowance; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Roger Evans: The administration of income support and the benefit-related aspects of the proposed jobseeker's allowance is the responsibility of Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available.
Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Ian McCartney, dated 27 January 1995:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the safety of Benefits Agency staff dealing with Income Support claims and the proposed Jobseeker's Allowance.
From April 1996, Jobseeker's Allowance will replace Income Support and Unemployment Benefit for those customers who are required to be available or register for employment. Other customers will still be able to claim Income Support but there are no proposals to have claims by them dealt with by Benefits Agency staff in Employment Service Jobcentres and there have been no representations about the safety of staff dealing with Income Support claims.
Claims to Jobseeker's Allowance will be dealt with, as far as is possible, in Employment Service Jobcentres. To date, representations have been received from the Benefits Agency Trade Union Side about the safety of Benefits Agency staff working in
Column 518Employment Service Jobcentres. Discussions are taking place with the Trade Union Side following a generic risk assessment of the effects of handling the Jobseeker's Allowance in Employment Service Jobcentres. This will be followed by local risk assessments in each Employment Service Jobcentre. Benefits Agency Trade Unions will be consulted about the results of the risk assessment.
I hope you find this reply helpful.
Mr. McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many assaults have been committed on Benefits Agency staff dealing with income support claims in each year since 1979 (a) nationally, (b) by region and (c) by individual social security office; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Roger Evans: The administration of Income Support is a matter for Michael Bichard, the chief executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available. Letter from Michael Bichard to Mr. Ian McCartney dated 27 January 1995:
The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about assaults on Income Support staff in Benefits Agency Offices.
Statistics on assaults on Benefits Agency Staff dealing with Income Support are not readily available in the format requested. This is because when collating these statistics, no differentiation is made with regard to the type of benefit in question, other than at a national level. Information relating to regions and individual offices could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
National statistics on the total number of reported assaults related to Income Support claims and supplementary benefit, which preceded it, are reproduced on the attached schedule. Figures prior to 1992 relate to the Department of Health and Social Security and Department of Social Security. Those for 1992 and 1993 relate to the Benefits Agency only. Statistics for 1994 are not yet available. I hope you find this reply helpful.
|Total Year |Benefit |assaults ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Department of (Health and) Social Security 1979 |Supplementary Benefit|165 1980 |Supplementary Benefit|173 1981 |Supplementary Benefit|155 1982 |Supplementary Benefit|179 1983 |Supplementary Benefit|174 1984 |Supplementary Benefit|150 1985 |Supplementary Benefit|182 1986 |Supplementary Benefit|225 1987 |Supplementary Benefit|185 1988 |Supplementary Benefit|175 1989 |Income Support |148 1990 |Income Support |146 1991 |Income Support |112 Benefits Agency 1992 |Income Support |68 1993 |Income Support |56
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make it his policy to introduce proposals for the Child Support Agency which will enable a repayment or payments at once if an overpayment has been made to the Child Support Agency resulting from an error by the Child Support Agency.
Mr. Burt: We have been considering the current provisions in the Child Support Act and regulations relating to overpaid maintenance and have concluded that some changes are necessary. We propose to amend regulation 10 of the Arrears, Interest and Adjustment of Maintenance Assessment Regulations to give the child support officer greater discretion in setting the amount by which current maintenance can be reduced when maintenance has been over paid. The amendment will be tabled in March for introduction in April.
However, some cases will still remain where such an adjustment will not be possible or where it will give an unreasonable result. For example, there may be no current maintenance liability which could be reduced to take account of an overpayment, or only a small reduction will be possible meaning the overpayment would be repaid over an unreasonably long period. We therefore propose to include in the forthcoming Child Support Bill a measure to enable the Child Support Agency to reimburse the absent parent in such circumstances.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how the national insurance number can be used for purposes unconnected with the tax and benefits system; what legislation would be necessary to legitimise any new purpose; what plans he has to make the number more widely available for such purposes; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Arbuthnot: I refer the hon. Member to the replies I gave him on Tuesday 29 November 1994, Official Report , column 627. The national insurance number can be used only for national insurance, tax and social security benefit-related purposes and we have no plans at present to introduce legislation to extend the use of the national insurance number.
Mr. Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what was the total budget in each year since 1993 for training courses provided for medical consultants working with the medical appeals tribunals section of the Northern area of the independent tribunal service;
(2) if he will list for each year since 1993 and to the latest available date (a) all general training courses, their duration and numbers attending and (b) all specialist or medical training courses, their duration and numbers attending, which were provided for medical consultants working with the medical appeals tribunals section of the Northern area of the independent tribunal service; (3) how many medical consultants are employed by the independent tribunal service in each region.